Starting next month, students enrolled in schools at Palm Springs Unified School District will get a free breakfast and a free lunch. According to PSUSD, it will be “at no charge at all district school sites for at least the next four years.”
This can be quite a relief for some parents. Angelica Melgar has five kids and four of them will be students at PSUSD during the next school year. Regardless of what the financial background of the students, all of them will get two free meals a day.
“I think it’s great that they didn’t focus only on low income families,” Melgar said. “Sometimes, families have the resources to feed their children, but for some reason, the kids don’t want to have breakfast at home. They’ll go to school without eating.”
Although the meals are free, for this mom, it is still very important to keep track of what her kids are eating at school.
“As parents, all we have to do is check a schedule -if made available- and see what days I think that the food offered is healthy,” Melgar said.
She said she plans to prep meals every now and then, just in case.
“Let’s not leave everything in the hands of the district,” Melgar said. “Even if it’s free.”
This mom is thinking about using the extra lunch money she is saving to enroll her kids in extracurricular activities.
While Palm Springs Unified School District is offering this service, they are not alone. Other schools across the Coachella Valley are eligible.
The Coachella Valley Unified School District is also offering this free of charge meal service as part of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) through the United States Department of Agriculture.
Only 10 out of the 34 schools that are part of the Desert Sands Unified School District are eligible for this service.
Mary Perry from Desert Sands Unified School District said this was because “Palm Springs Unified School District’s percentage of direct certification is higher than Desert Sands’ School District.”