Valley teachers, organizations working to feed students during walkout

Elizabeth Leybeck is a math teacher at Mountain View High School in Mesa but today she adding up food donations from ...

Posted: Apr 25, 2018 6:53 PM
Updated: Apr 25, 2018 6:53 PM

Elizabeth Leybeck is a math teacher at Mountain View High School in Mesa but today she adding up food donations from parents, teachers, and area grocery stores in the Valley.

"We said we've got to do something," Leybeck said. "We can't solve all the problems, but this is one problem that we can address within our community."

Mountain View has just more than 900 students who get free or reduced breakfast and lunches. About 45 of them are considered critical, meaning their main source of food is from school.

"When they're not here they're not eating," Leybeck said.

On the other side of the Valley, Saint Mary's Food Bank is also getting ready its emergency food boxes ready for more families. The food bank already serves about 7,000 students after-school meals every day.

"That doesn't even touch the kids who get the free breakfast or free lunch and aren't a part of our after-school program," said Jerry Brown with the food bank.

"That's why we think the emergency food box program is the best way to go right now to help as many people as we can."

More than 580,000 students qualify for reduced or free lunches in Arizona. In some cases, the food at school will be their only meal of the day.

Saint Mary's says it does have enough emergency food boxes right now to help families through the weekend.

"If this walkout or this closure really stretches out we'll probably have to come up with something else," Brown said.

Some school districts that are closing will still be providing meals for students. You can find specific district information ONLINE HERE.

Some Valley organizations are providing child care or "day camps" to help parents who need somewhere to take their kids. Some of those are also providing food service.

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