Nearly 100 charter schools will provide free meals to L.A. students to increase food security during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced Wednesday.

The California Charter Schools Association released a list Wednesday morning of 82 charter schools across the Los Angeles area that will provide free meals to any child under the age of 18 regardless of which school they attend. The program starts Wednesday and by Friday, nearly 100 local charter public schools will offer students meals without charge at Grab-and-Go pick-up sites throughout the County, according to a statement.

“Parents have too many worries right now and charter schools are here to help provide a free and nutritious meal for all children. It’s one less thing for families to worry about,” said Myrna Castrejon, President and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association. “Local charter schools are important resources in Los Angeles communities and work hard to ensure students have a place to learn, receive critical supports including meals, and a place to belong and grow.”

“Our organization, along with many other charter public schools across Los Angeles, is committed to supporting our entire community through this unprecedented health crisis. Expanding city-wide food security is a critical way for us to meet that challenge,” said Marcia Aaron, CEO, KIPP SoCal Public Schools. “We know how important food safety and access to healthy food is at a time when so many of our families are facing job insecurity and loss.”

The collective effort more than doubles food service resources for public school families city-wide and comes on the heels of mass school closures of charter, district, and private schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thousands of schools throughout California closed this week and could remain closed for the rest of the school year.

The following link provides a list of the Los Angeles area charter schools offering Grab-and-Go free meals starting Wednesday, to any child under the age of 18 years while local public school are closed in response to COVID-19: info.ccsa.org/la-county-charter-school-meals.

CCSA will continue to update the list as additional schools begin their free meal service program.

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