School Day Cafe serves thousands of free lunches to students

Peter Martinez hands out boxed lunches as part of School Day Cafe's program to give families access to free meals this week. March 18, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.
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Over the past few days, School Day Cafe has fed thousands of students in the Santa Clarita Valley with its free pickup food service, which is currently based at its headquarters in Valencia. 

Starting Monday, this service will be available at 11 schools in the SCV. 

“We don’t come into contact with the public and they don’t come into contact with us,” said Robert Lewis, CEO of School Day Cafe. “We hand over the meal through the window of their car.” 

School Day Cafe is providing free lunches to families Wednesday through Friday this week at drive-thru stands set up in front of their Valencia offices. March 18, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

When cars pull up to a lunch pickup spot, a School Day Cafe employee will ask how many children need to be fed and the appropriate number of lunches will be handed over. Children do not need to be students to receive these lunches, according to Lewis. 

Each meal includes some type of protein along with bread, vegetables, fruits, salad and a milk carton. At this time, the program is scheduled to run until April 3. 

“It’s (a) very important (program) because many of our children are on the free lunch program and they may not be getting meals at home,” said Lewis. 

Over the past two days, School Day Cafe has run the lunch pickup out of its headquarters and will continue to do so until Friday. In its time of operation, it has served thousands of students. 

“(Wednesday), we served 1,500 meals and I think we’re gonna do over 2,000 (on Thursday),” said Lewis. “I think the numbers are going to go up, even more, when we are able to get into the schools.”

These free lunches will be available at 11 locations, Monday through Friday, from 12 to 1 p.m., beginning Monday. If Gov. Gavin Newsom orders schools to close until the end of the school year, School Day Cafe is prepared to feed students until then, Lewis said. 

School Day Cafe is providing free lunches to families Wednesday through Friday this week at drive-thru stands set up in front of their Valencia offices. March 18, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

“I’m most proud of my people that are here (helping), (because) they don’t have to be here,” said Lewis. “They’re coming into work every day because they have good hearts and want to feed the children.” 

“We will do it somehow, someway we will feed the kids,” Lewis added. 

For more information or the latest updates, call 661-295-1574 or visit scvschoolnutrition.org.

The School Day Cafe is located at 25210 Anza Drive. The locations for lunch pickup from March 23 to April 23 are listed below.

Santa Clarita Elementary – 27177 Seco Canyon Road, Saugus.

Cedarcreek Elementary – 27792 Camp Plenty Road, Canyon Country.

Rio Vista Elementary – 20417 Cedarcreek St., Canyon Country.

Newhall Elementary – 24607 Walnut St., Newhall.

Peachland Elementary – 24800 Peachland Ave., Santa Clarita.

Wiley Canyon Elementary – 24240 W. La Glorita Circle, Newhall.

Dr. J. Michael McGrath Elementary – 21501 Deputy Jake Drive, Newhall.

Canyon Springs Community Elementary – 19059 Vicci St., Santa Clarita.

Mitchell Community Elementary – 16821 Goodvale Road, Canyon Country.

Live Oak Elementary – 27715 Saddleridge Way, Castaic.

Northlake Hills Elementary – 32545 Ridge Rte Road, Castaic.

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