Coronavirus: Inglewood school district partners with LA food bank to help feed families

Inglewood families can rely on the school district to provide meals for their children and a box of food from the L.A. Regional Food Bank.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- Inglewood resident Anita Thomas has two kids and a third on the way. With her kids out of school because of COVID-19, Thomas was forced to quit her job as an Uber Eats driver to take care of them.

With less money coming in, she's thankful the Inglewood Unified School District isn't only continuing to feed her kids, but also feed Thomas and her husband.

"If it wasn't for them, I don't know where my family would be right now. We wouldn't have enough to feed our kids everyday," Anita Thomas said. "I can cut back on the groceries for the bills because you know the rent still has to get paid. I don't want to fall behind."

Brenda Rodriguez, a mother of four, is in the same boat. Rodriguez's husband has gone from a full-time employee at a restaurant to part-time because of the pandemic. Rodriguez says her kids' school does a better job of physical distancing than the supermarket.

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"It's more easy for me to come and pick up the school lunch rather to go to the supermarket and the line and deal with the other place. I didn't feel safe to go to the market," said Rodriguez.

When families come to Hudnall Elementary twice a week, they're not just walking away with breakfast and lunch for their kids. They're also getting a box of food from L.A. Regional Food Bank, enough for 30 meals for their families.

"They come to us to tell us that they have been laid off and they tell us that they feel safe coming to our schools. They feel welcome here. They know that we care about them, we care about their children," said Erika Torres, the county administrator who oversees Inglewood schools.

The Inglewood school district supplies breakfast and lunch for their 8,000 students who need it and over the past month, they've distributed 19,000 meals. The meal kit for families comes from the L.A. Regional Food Bank, who says distribution is up 73% over the last four weeks.

"That is knocking down our inventory, so this is something we're worried looking out several weeks," said Michael Flood, the CEO of the L.A. Regional Food Bank. "It's not a today issue, but it's something that is a concern given that we expect the demand for food assistance to remain at this high level."
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