In addition to the threat of the coronavirus, one of the concerns at the top of our minds right now is how millions of children in the U.S. who rely on free and reduced school lunches and breakfasts will eat when school is closed. Steph Curry and Ayesha Curry were worried about that, too, and they’re doing something about it — in Oakland and beyond.
“We want to intercede on behalf of the kids that rely on the daily services [of schools] and try to help any way we can,” Steph said in a video he and his wife created on Saturday.
“The statistics are really staggering: 18,000 kids rely on at least two meals a day from the school system,” Ayesha Curry added. “So we want to make sure that we rally around everyone and ensure that these kids are not wondering where their next meal is coming from, and that the parents who — some are still having to go to work, worrying about the kids’ logistics — we just want to make sure that there’s one less thing to worry about.”
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Oakland just announced they're closing schools until April because of the COVID-19 crisis. While we support this decision, we're concerned about what this means for childhood hunger in our hometown. More than 18,000 students in Oakland rely on their school for 2+ meals each day and our foundation @eatlearnplay is making a donation to @accfb and @feedingamerica to help ensure no child has to worry about where their next meal is coming from while schools are closed. Please join us by donating to @ACCFB or a food bank near you. Link in bio
The Currys are doing this by donating to the Alameda County Community Food Bank through the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, which they launched last year. They’re also encouraging others to join them in their mission to fund more than 1 million meals.
Since the moment it became clear that schools would have to close to prevent the spread of COVID-19, experts have raised the question of how to feed these kids in need. The USDA has announced it would be flexible in allowing school systems to distribute meals to students the way they do during the summer, some are concerned that this isn’t enough. School systems are offering “grab & go” breakfasts and lunches for those who need them, but the logistics of distributing these meals are still in the works. How do they give these out while still maintaining the social distancing guidelines needed to slow the virus’ spread?
Chef Tom Colicchio said last week that the solution was to expand SNAP benefits (a.k.a. food stamps), so that parents can stock up on food, without their kids having to go to crowded locations every day. The bill that passed in the House last week would accomplish that, so we’re waiting to see if the Senate and the president will pass it into law.
In the meantime, the Currys said they have already received an outpouring of help. On Sunday, they posted an update, saying, “The response to our efforts to provide healthy meals to all hungry kids in Oakland during the COVID-19 crisis has been truly amazing – thank you!” reads a post on their accounts. “We’re thrilled that our partners at the Oakland Unified School District will be providing grab-and-go meals on Mondays and Thursdays at several of their schools across the city. Additionally, the work we’re doing with the Alameda County Community Food Bank is helping to address the major gaps that still exist in our shared efforts to provide food to all hungry kids + families in Oakland. It takes a village to meet these urgent needs and we’re proud to be a part of this incredible community.”
If you want to help, too, you can donate to your local food bank, or follow the Currys’ advice and give to Feeding America.