California Principal Brings Food To Students Cut Off From Meals
California to meet Juan Vaca. He is the principal at Global Family Elementary School where all of the 453 students receive free or reduced lunch. We have like 98%. You know that next and we have students. They're newcomers are English language learners. They're newcomers coming from other countries. With very minimal language, very minimal educational experience, no schooling, So we try to find ways to actually make sure that we're also holding them in a way that they're actually have the support that they need to be able to be successful. His school has always had students who needed help getting food or enough food, but things got worse when the pandemic hit. Families had to figure out how we're going to supplement this food that used that we usedto get at the school. It's it's kinda is difficult, exactly. Ah, fathom to think that we take something simple things like like lunch and meals and breakfast for granted, because it's it's expected. It's there. And once we've removed and you give him something else, different avenues, Actually, Tina lt's thinks it's kind of difficult and target our job. I think to find ways to toe mend that and connect families to these three services. This summer, Vaca worked at a food distribution center at another school in the area. But families from his school couldn't make it usually because they lacked transportation or were quarantined. So he got creative and what I would do is I would go check in the morning at that school and make sure that everything was going well and what I would do that would bring food back because I knew that there's families would be Needing this food and I would have. How's it at my my sights and parents know that they could come and pick it up or I would drop off on my way back to my school? Still, that wasn't enough. A vodka and a staff of global family got even more hands on teachers would buy groceries for struggling families and do wellness checks. Eventually, vodka arranged a food drive at his school twice a month. He says. More than 100. Families show up each time. They're very thankful. They always think us and they always wanna wants the next one. And because fellas leave with a lot of bags like it's not just here's two apples Here's to. No, it's There's a lot of food and I think they're very grateful. I think it's sometimes isn't words Don't don't express what they're feeling. I just 1000 face that. They're thank you says a million words and I just feel like it's stick followings right Vodka says the drives are a chance to check in with students and their families. That's where he learns how they're adapting to distance learning amid the pandemic. It's tough because you have these students were having to take these rolls right of the roles of making sure that they can't Mom and dad has to be quarantined. And now you have a kind of to fend for yourself. So it's it's one of those situationally. They're very grateful, very grateful. We provide them but it it's not consistent. Right. Well, it's not. We're not there every single day without we're not sure we're not there with them. 24 hours a day and we could provide one need, but we could try toe help him overcome one obstacle, But there's still so many more. Despite the challenges, vodka remains optimistic. The food drives continue as do the check ins. He says. He learned a lot in the early days of the pandemic and has adapted to this new normal. We needed. Just continue working and making the drive striving, Tio what we're doing in regards clothing, the Snowden security gaps and making sure they're At least some of their basic needs are met to the capacity that we could provide. So that's one less thing. They have to worry about that Swan vodka principal at Global Family Elementary School in Oakland, California.