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New Family Pantry Provides Free Food for Families in Need

On February 5, 2021, in partnership with United Teachers of Santa Clara (UTSC) and California School Employees Association (CSEA), Santa Clara Unified School District’s Family Resource Center (FRC) opened the doors to a new family food pantry.

The pantry includes a commercial-grade refrigerator — purchased by the Santa Clara Schools Foundation using funds donated by UTSC — stocked with groceries purchased by CSEA. The FRC staff will use the pantry to expand access to free food for families in crisis.

COVID-19 continues to have a disproportionate effect on the socioeconomically disadvantaged families throughout the Santa Clara Unified community. With the prolonged negative impact of COVID-19, the need for food for the whole family has increased.

“It is inspiring to see Santa Clara Unified’s employee associations come together to address the whole family's needs in response to the pandemic,” says Superintendent Stella M. Kemp, Ed.D. “UTSC and CSEA have really stepped up in the way they contribute since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The family pantry is just the latest investment, and it exemplifies our collective commitment to finding new ways to remove barriers to our district families in greatest need.”

Each Wednesday, Santa Clara Unified staff distribute seven days' worth of free meals, including breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks, to families at select school sites across the district. In addition to this meal service, twice a month our FRC conducts a distribution of meal boxes provided by Second Harvest Foodbank. Despite these services and referring families to other community organizations in the area that offer food distribution services, some families still struggle to make ends meet. SCUSD’s family pantry will allow the FRC staff to ensure that the families they are meeting with are provided another opportunity to access groceries on-site.