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Santa Fe High School

Whittier Union Food and Nutrition Services Resumes Supper Meal Distribution for Students

Whittier Union High School District’s Food and Nutrition Services Department has resumed its free afterschool supper meal service, ensuring that WUHSD students continue to have access to nutritious daily meals.

The service, which resumed Sept. 7, provides meals Mondays through Thursdays at all five Whittier Union comprehensive high schools.

In-person breakfast and lunch meal service has also returned after more than a year of curbside pickup service, initiated following the school closures toward the end of the 2019-20 school year. Between March 2020 and July 2021, the Food and Nutrition Services Department served more than 620,000 meals throughout the District.

When school closures were announced on March 13, 2020, Food and Nutrition Services Director Elizabeth Brown-Smith held an emergency meeting with her staff to determine what food supplies they had on hand and what they could prepare and have ready the following Monday.

“It was very challenging for us. We needed to know how many people we were going to feed. We had no idea if we would be underprepared or overprepared,” Brown-Smith said. “Our site managers and central kitchen supervisors did an amazing job coordinating the effort. Moving forward we were able to adapt our approach to meet the needs of our community.”

The goal of the curbside meal service was to combine foods like fresh produce and essential proteins with meals made from scratch that have become student favorites, like freshly made Mama Lisha’s pizza, chicken teriyaki and a chili verde bowl. Also popular are baked goods such as freshly made coffee cakes and muffins, which are all prepared by the Food and Nutrition Services Department.

In addition to providing curbside meal service during school closures, the department also provided meal service to the Mulberry Tree Learning Center and St. Andrew Lutheran Church.

“Whittier Union is the largest restaurant in the city, serving nearly 4,000 lunches in 30 to 45 minutes and 3,500 breakfast meals in 20 minutes, every day,” Brown-Smith said. “We couldn’t achieve this without the assistance of our hard-working and dedicated team. Our number one priority is to serve the students and community and we take great pride in what we do.”

Whittier Union students are entitled to one free breakfast and one free lunch per school day, as well as a supper meal they can take home. For more about the Supper Meal Distribution, visit the District’s Food and Nutrition Services Department website.

“On behalf of the District and the Whittier community, I want to express my deep appreciation to Elizabeth Brown-Smith and the Food and Nutrition Services Department for never wavering in their commitment in providing an essential service for all of our families,” Superintendent Martin J. Plourde said.

 

PHOTO CAPTION

WUHSD_FOODSERVICES1: Whittier Union High School District resumed its free afterschool supper meal service, which provides meals Monday through Thursdays at all five Whittier Union comprehensive high schools.