The MVLA district teachers association along with the PTSA have worked over the last three weeks to provide meal services to over 100 families who identified needing support through Pasta Market meal vouchers and Trader Joe’s gift cards.
According to Assistant Principal Daniella Quiñones, many of these families receive their primary source of income from the service industry, which has suffered due to the county-wide lockdown after the COVID-19.
Quiñones said the last two weeks of March were spent trying to track down the families that needed resources. A team of ELD teachers, office admin, and other teachers and staff members made phone calls to reach families. They received data from the district office in order to identify families with no access to wifi at home, along with a student survey that classes took. According to Quiñones, many of these families reported needing financial assistance in addition to wifi.
The District Teachers Association pledged $10,000 originally allocated for grievances to provide food resources to the families identified.
According to DTA president David Campbell, these funds went to purchasing 100 $100 gift cards from Trader Joes, which have been distributed to families over the past two weeks.
According to PTSA Executive Vice President Marilyn Stanley, the school PTSA allocated $5,000 of its budget originally determined for Spartan Pause and SBAC testing snacks to getting meals to families.
“We partnered with the Pasta Market in Los Altos; they’re a local business that we knew was also probably hurting for business,” Stanley said. “They produced a voucher for us to give to those families in need for a specific meal,” she said.
Stanley said that the PTSA has spent $1,000 at the Pasta Market so far, and that they tried to match the donation with another 150 extra meals, which she approximates at $650.
These vouchers are being distributed to families like the gift cards, and 150 meals have been provided so far.
Although a lot of food resources have been distributed to families as yet, Campbell says they are still “nowhere near enough.”
There are more families out there that are hitting really hard times
“I’m certain there are more families out there that are hitting really hard times,” he said. “Not to mention we’ve got families that are undocumented, and this federal aid is not going to come to them.”
Quiñones encourages families who want to donate to do so through local, established organizations, such as Second Harvest Food Bank or Community Services Agency, which goes to provide rent stabilization for families in Mountain View and Los Altos. According to CSA, their waitlist to apply for assistance has multiplied and will only continue to do so in the coming months before the 120-day eviction moratorium is up.
“It is worrisome because we anticipate the need to only become greater.” Quiñones said.