The California Department of Education’s “CA Meals for Kids” mobile app has been updated to help students and families find meals during novel coronavirus-related emergency school closures, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced on Thursday.
Thurmond said in a statement:
“Food insecurity is a daily struggle for some of our students and their families and that struggle is even more difficult and complicated during the current COVID-19 emergency we’re all facing.”
“I’d like to thank the Nutrition Services Division, the Technology Services Division and Department of Education staff who worked on updating the app.”
He also thanked “the hard-working school nutrition staff around the state who have heroically continued working and who are continuing to serve our students during this unprecedented emergency shutdown.”
The Department of Education received a special waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on March 10 that enabled expanding a site that had been approved to operate other food programs to provide meals to students during a coronavirus-related closure.
The Department of Education said that as of Thursday it has processed more than 3,100 emergency feeding sites throughout the state.
Those sites will be populated into the “Meals for Kids” app as school districts continue to update the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System, according to the department.
Families should still contact their local school or district for free- or reduced-price meal availability in their areas, the department said.
The “Meals for Kids” app originally was released in 2018 to help users find the locations of California’s summer and afterschool meal programs, which are spread throughout the state.
The programs provide no-cost meals to children age 18 and under.
The app is available for free download through Apple’s app store, Google’s play store and Microsoft’s app store web pages.