‘Every administrator is trying to help’: Schools organize to give food to kids age 18 and under | TheUnion.com

‘Every administrator is trying to help’: Schools organize to give food to kids age 18 and under

Sam Corey
Staff Writer

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For more information, contact the school districts below.


Email Superintendent Torie Gibson: tgibson@pvuesd.org

District webpage: http://www.pvuesd.org

Number: 530-432-7311


District webpage: http://www.gvsd.us

Number: 530-273-4483

Central kitchen location: 900 Golden Gate Terrace, Grass Valley


District webpage: http://www.unionhillschooldistrict.org

Number: 530-273-0647


District webpage: http://www.prsd.us

Number: 530-268-2800


District webpage: http://www.njuhsd.com

Number: 530-273-3351


District webpage: http://www.twinridgeselementary.com

Number: 530-265-9052

While many people have been hitting the local grocery stores to stock up on food because of the coronavirus, there are a number of locals who rely on meals that are free or have reduced prices.

Now that schools are closed, Nevada County public and public charter schools are organizing to feed kids age 18 and under, regardless of whether they qualify for free and reduced lunch.

Much of the credit goes to county school safety coordinator Chris Espedal, who has been training staff to prepare for this crisis, according to Chicago Park School Principal-Superintendent Katie Kohler.

“I think that’s why things work so quickly,” said Kohler. “We can move so fast just because we have everything in place for these situations.”

Details vary based on the school district, but Chicago Park, Grass Valley, Nevada Joint Union, Penn Valley, Twin Ridges, Pleasant Ridge and Union Hill school districts are all providing breakfast and lunch meals for students who are 18 years old and younger. In many cases, those students can pick up food from wherever they have easiest access, regardless of whether they attend that particular school.

“Things worked out pretty well,” Grass Valley School District Superintendent Eric Fredrickson said of the lunch program that began Tuesday at Margaret G. Scotten School and central kitchen.

About 250 lunch and breakfast meals were passed out to students between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. that day.

“It’s for all families,” said Fredrickson. “There’s plenty of food.”


Fredrickson said he applied for a grant with the National School Lunch Program in order to feed students from now until the crisis is over.

The superintendent praised Food Services Director Jeff Coats for being prepared to distribute food to students in this situation. But support hasn’t just come from Coats, the superintendent noted.

“Even community members have called us and said, ‘Whatever you need us to do, let me know,’” said Fredrickson.

Nevada Joint Union High School District, along with the Nevada City School District, will start today providing lunch and breakfast to students age 18 and younger, as long as they bring student identification.

The Penn Valley school district received requests for food from 210 people on Monday, according to the school district superintendent Torie Gibson. With the help of two buses, the district dropped off food along two routes in Penn Valley on Tuesday.

Gibson said she may start requesting more volunteers to help distribute food.

“Absolutely all students” are covered in the Twin Ridges School District, according to school district assistant to the superintendent Sunshine Bender. About 85 people will be served today at three locations to pickup food, including Mother Truckers and Grizzly Hill School, according to Bender.

“At this time, we need to take care of our community and be there for each other,” she said.

Emily’s Catering & Cakes is also passing out 100 free lunches first-come, first-serve style for four Fridays beginning this week at noon.

“We’re just trying to relieve a little bit of stress for who we can,” said shop owner John Arbaugh.

Considering the outbreak, many locals emphasized the importance of providing help now more than ever.

“Every administrator is trying to help out our kids,” said Katie Kohler.

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email scorey@theunion.com or call 530-477-4219.

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