Public schools provide meals for students during pandemic


Photo Courtesy of Derrick Lawson.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that public schools will be closed until the next school year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Classes are still in session, but strictly online. While this is the best way to stop the spreading of the virus, it also affects students who rely on school meals.

Here in the valley, some public schools are still handing out meals for students even after the mandatory closing of school campuses.

One of those schools is Indio High School. The school began handing out breakfast and lunch to students when the pandemic started.

According to Indio High School Principal Derrick Lawson, all students are eligible to pick up meals even students that have to pay can pick up free meals.

Students from other schools are also able to come and pick up breakfast and lunch during the week. Students are only allowed one meal during breakfast and lunch.

The school is also taking serious precautions when it comes to handing out meals to students.

“The cafeteria staff is wearing masks and gloves but everything is packaged,” said Principal Lawson.

Sanitation is important these days. The cafeteria staff must wear masks after the CDC has announced that everyone is required to wear masks in public. Wearing masks and gloves is a good way to stay safe from the virus.

Principal Lawson said they will continue handing out meals to students for the remainder of the school year and will continue during the summer program.

Lawson also would like students to know, “There are ten sites in the district. Beginning Monday, April 6 we will still serve from 10 to 12 meals but only Mondays and Wednesdays. Instead of daily meals, they will collect multiple days at once. On Monday they will get their breakfast and lunch package for two days and then Wednesday they will get it packaged for three.”

To avoid as much contact as possible the Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD) began handing out meals Monday and Wednesday instead of every day.

This way both students and staff will be safe while handing out meals.

Although there is a pandemic going on and times are hard, students will not worry about meals because the schools are here to help and provide for them.

The following DSUSD schools are handing out meals to students, Franklin Elementary, Jackson Elementary, Johnson Elementary, La Quinta High, Paige Middle, Palm Desert Charter Middle, Shadow Hills High and Van Buren Elementary.

Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD) is also handing out meals for students and for children 18 years old and younger.

Children have access to five breakfasts and five lunches during the week.

The next meal distribution will be on April 15 and will continue distribution every Wednesday at each bus stop and 12 school sites.

For more information visit the DSUSD and PSUSD websites at and