LOS ANGELES - More than 1.5 million Thanksgiving meals will be distributed to Los Angeles Unified School District families in need on Wednesday through the district's Grab and Go centers, Superintendent Austin Beutner said.
"This effort sounds like something out of the Guinness Book of World Records because I don't think any relief program has ever provided a million and a half meals in just one day," Beutner said.
A list of Grab and Go center locations can be found at achieve.lausd.net/Page/16904.
Manish Singh, director of LAUSD Food Services, said the district has delivered 80 million meals to families in need since the onset of the pandemic in March. The meals to be distributed Wednesday will include sliced turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy and green beans.
"It's been a team effort, which has helped us to get to that point, and I'm so grateful that we got this opportunity to serve our families," Singh said.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Beutner said LAUSD will not open schools until it is safe to do so, and current case numbers are still too high.
Parents lined up to get meal packages provided by LAUSD at a grab-and-go food center established on Friday morning at Byrd Middle School. LAUSD is providing meals to students in the wake of school closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sun Va (Getty Images)
"Our goal is to provide families everything they need to make an informed decision about what's best for their child and their family," Beutner said. "... Next week, school principals will review the information with their school communities."
Beutner said LAUSD has tested more than 150,000 people "of all ages," but said most of the people who are testing positive in the district have not been at schools and are asymptomatic.
"This past week has been sobering ... with the number of cases in Los Angeles area more than doubling in the past two weeks, including the highest daily count since the crisis began," Beutner said. "Job one for state and local authorities is to lead us down a path to reduce levels of virus."
Beutner also said the district is partnering with Entercom Communications to help raise money to provide gifts and clothes to LAUSD families in need over the holiday season. People can text GIVER to 76278 to donate or visit LAStudentsMostInNeed.org for more information.