San Bernardino County lunch program helps preschoolers stay connected with teachers

San Bernardino County has set up a program to make sure preschoolers get meals at least twice a week amid the coronavirus pandemic.
FONTANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Twice a week outside Citrus Head Start Preschool in Fontana, teachers and staff wait curbside to greet students and distribute lunches.

"It's 100% helped my family going through everything, especially when everything in the stores was gone, the school was providing us," said Ana Guzman.

Guzman's child is one of 200 students enrolled in the preschool run by San Bernardino County Preschool Services. The meals are funded through the National School Lunch Program, which provides nutritious food for children in need.

"Almost all of our children are at high risk, whether its is foster children, homeless children, low-income children with disabilities. A lot of the services provided, including the food, is essential to them," said Phalos Haire, San Bernardino County Director of Preschool Services.

In mid-March the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to move to virtual learning. But students still needed the meals they used to get on campus. That's when the curbside grab-and-go lunches began.

The quick visits also allow teachers to interact with their students at a distance, providing their students with a small sense of normalcy and familiarity in these confusing times.

"It is actually nice to interact with them face-to-face today and ask them how they have been doing. If they have been doing the work we've been sending home," said Erika Aguilera, a teaching assistant at the preschool.

San Bernardino County Preschool Services also have support staff that reach out to families about additional needs from clothing to additional food for other family members. For more information on services offered by San Bernardino County Preschool Services you can click on the link or contact 1-888-KIDS-025.
Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.