Sequoia Union High School District officials distributed free Thanksgiving meal kits to families of local students in kindergarten through 12th grade this week due to "overwhelming" demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
District officials gave out 2,400 meals to roughly 600 families, which included turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet corn, gravy, peas and carrots, stuffing, cranberry sauce and blueberry crumble, through a contactless drive-thru at the Food Services Central Kitchen in Redwood City on Monday, Nov. 23.
"There was nothing but gratitude from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.," said Yaz Widatalla, the district's food services supervisor on Tuesday, Nov. 24.
This school year, the district has offered free breakfast and lunch to all children under the age of 18 — including students who don't attend district schools — while campuses are closed for distance learning. Food insecurity has increased during the pandemic, Widatalla said.
"Why not do something a little bit extra?" he said of the meal kits. "Not only to reach out to the students, but the families as well."
District officials are also considering distributing meals around the Christmas holiday.