Education Beat Podcast — Teens fight for the right to vote for school board — Listen Now!

News Update

LA Unified stresses need for help to pay for meals for students and families

Los Angeles Unified is continuing to seek financial help from federal, state and local government agencies to cover the cost of millions of meals that the district is providing to students and families during the coronavirus pandemic, Superintendent Austin Beutner said Monday.

LA Unified has provided about 13 million meals since schools closed for in-person instruction in mid-March. Beutner said last week that LA Unified is facing $200 million in unbudgeted costs associated with the coronavirus pandemic. About $78 million of those costs come from distributing the meals, which are available to any child or adult who shows up to one of the district’s dozens of grab-and-go centers.

Within the past week, the district has requested funding from the City of Los Angeles’ disaster relief fund and from LA County’s food stamps program to help cover those costs. LA Unified has also asked for emergency funding from the state and from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Agriculture at the federal level.

“I mentioned last week we are incurring costs in this effort we did not budget for,” Beutner said Monday in a televised speech. “We’re working at all levels of government to make sure a mass, community relief effort like this is supported by the funding that exists to pay for it.”