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No Hungry Students: Where Imperial Beach Kids Can Get Free Meals

California schools chief tells updated list of places that offer children low-cost or no-cost meals.

Hungry kids are handicapped when they come to school, all educators know. So good meals for low-income students are part of many schools’ menu, including in Imperial Beach.

On Friday, the state superintendent of public instruction announced newly updated lists of groups offering low-cost or free meals for children of low-income families.

At least five locations offer such help in IB, according to the Child and Adult Care Food Program Day Care Home Sponsors and 2012-13 CACFP Center Sites.

“Too many disadvantaged families are still struggling with the most basic need of all—providing nutritious meals for children,” said Tom Torlakson, the state schools chief. “I hope these updated lists help direct families to these critical resources.”

These are the the 2012-13 CACFP Sites in Imperial Beach:

  • Sponsor: Episcopal Community Services: ECS Hammond CDC Head Start, 455 Palm Ave. Contact person: Chris Marics (619-228-2800)
  • Sponsor: Episcopal Community Services: ECS Imperial Beach Head Start, 485 Imperial Beach Blvd. Contact: Chris Marics (619-228-2800)
  • Sponsor: Episcopal Community Services: ECS Kid Korps Head Start, 1325 Iris Ave., Bldg. 48 Contact: Chris Marics (619-228-2800)
  • Sponsor: Boys & Girls Club of Imperial Beach, Boys & Girls Club-Encina, 847 Encina Ave. Contact: Gil Contreras (619-424-2266)
  • Sponsor: Sweetwater Union High School District: Mar Vista High School, 505 Elm Ave. Contact: Eric Span  (619-691-5510)

As part of Torlakson’s Team California for Health Kids initiative, he encourages students to be physically active, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and drink more water.

Studies show these factors can lead to better academic achievement in students, the state said.

CACFP, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provides nutritious food to infants, children and adults. Under the program, all children enrolled in day-care homes get meals at no charge.

Most day-care centers taking part also provide meals at no charge. In centers that have a separate charge for meals, participants may receive free or reduced-price meals, the state says.

Nearly 5,000 local day-care centers and 17,000 sponsored family day-care home providers in California take part in the CACFP.

Families with children in child-care centers can qualify for free or reduced-price meals if their household income is equal to or less than the income eligibility guidelines. See attached PDF chart.

In a news release, the state also said:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent income eligibility scales are adjusted for inflation and are higher than the previous year. For example, a family of four that earns no more than $29,965 a year (up from $29,055 last year) can qualify for free meals and snacks. Also, a family of four that earns no more than $42,643 a year (up from $41,348 last year) can qualify for reduced-price meals and snacks. The Income Eligibility Scales for free and reduced-price meals and snacks are attached.

Children who receive California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment Program (Kin-GAP), Head Start, Early Head Start, or the Even Start Program are automatically eligible for free meal benefits under CACFP.

Adults who receive CalFresh, FDPIR, Social Security Income, or Medicaid benefits are also eligible for free meals under CACFP. Institutions serve meals to all participants regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

For more information, see the CACFP Day Care Home Sponsors list and the 2012–13 CACFP Center Sites list.

Ed Sorrels March 16, 2013 at 01:24 AM
I hate to rain on the superintendant Parade, But who is doing the means testing for this, Is it just a note sent home and the parents fill in the necessary figures to qualify or is there someone that actually check's whether a family qualifies. I am aware of one family where both parents work and they both have near new vehicles and they have a kid in the program along with afterschool child care ! This is not what I pay taxes for, I worked as a mechanic while raising my family of four kid's and never took a damn dime and really wonder about this program and the abuses of it and who is responsiable for them ?
Mike G March 16, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Ed to answer your question, no one checks. If you question someone's eligibility you're labelled a racist or jingoist. Welcome to California, land of taxpayer funded milk and honey.
Ed Sorrels March 16, 2013 at 10:51 PM
LOL, Tell me about it Mike, My family came here from Oklahoma in 1939, But no one told us that we could get all this stuff, So we went to work, worked real hard and prospered, Really dumb way to do it ! and now again the all knowing morons in Washington because they lack the gut's of a hamster are going to grant amnasty again to several million ILLEGAL again ILLEGAL migrants instead of securing our borders, We need to get rid of the b order patrol as they sure as hell arn't patroling our borders or if they are they sure need more help. The answer to these problems begin's with securing our borders and if we fail we will be doomed to becoming mexico del norte !
ibcalif March 16, 2013 at 11:31 PM
It's quid pro quo: food stamps, section 8, utility bill aid, etc. in exchange for votes at the ballot box.

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