Free School Lunches for ALL California Students 2021-2022 School Year!

I read about this last week, got busy, and forgot to share this!

The state of California is joining cities like Chicago and Boston in offering free school lunches and breakfasts to students.  Previously students families had to meet certain income requirements to qualify for discounted or free school meals.

I’m so glad that this is now available to everyone. There are a lot of people who didn’t qualify but are facing food insecurity.

For more information, The NPR acrticle here has some deets. Be on the look out for information coming from your school district in your email or as a flyer in your kids backpack the few day of school.

Santee School District sent out an email earlier this week.

 

2021 Summer Lunch Programs for Kids (And Other Free Food Resources in San Diego)

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I have been working on this post for weeks, making phone calls and researching. I wanted to get this post up as soon as I could. Unfortunately, there are still some areas that haven’t posted their plans for free summer meals for kids.

Santee School District will be providing summer drive-thru meal distribution from June 14 through July 30, Monday-Friday, from 10:00-10:30 am, at Pepper Drive and Rio Seco schools.  Extended school year (summer school) and students attending Project Safe will be provided with food.

San Diego Unified School District has partnered with San Diego Parks and Recreation to have food available at neighborhood schools and Recreation centers throughout the city of San Diego. The complete list of locations can be found here. Times vary by location.

Grossmont Union High School District will be providing lunch for kids 2-18 all summer. Kicking it off, they will be giving out meal boxes on Monday June 7 from 11:30 to 1:30 on a first come first serve basis in the same area where lunches are distributed.  Summer meal distribution starts on June 14th 11:30-1:30 Monday through Friday.

Other school districts may be offering free lunches this summer, but currently there isn’t much information available.

If you don’t find any facilities near you offering free lunches, I recommend contacting 211, they may have more updated information.

And the San Diego Food Bank is continuing their neighborhood distributions– Lots of produce and goodies are available each week. No proof of need or residency requirements.

There are all sorts of organizations looking to help families in need.

Even if you are not in dire need, if you need help stretching your budget, these resources are here for you!

Talk Back: How are you stretching your food budget this summer?

Pizza Hut: Enroll now for Camp BOOK IT!

Enrollment is now open for Camp BOOK IT! 2021. Enroll your children now to help fight the summer slide.

Camp BOOK IT! will run June-August, 2021, and is open to PreK-6th grade students (ages 4-12).

Set reading goals, have fun, and reward your students for their summer reading with free pizza!

Pizza Hut Book It Enrollment (2021-2022) is Open!

BOOK-IT.pngWoo Hoo! My Kids are stoked.

Enrollment is now open for the 2021-22 BOOK IT! Program year. Homeschool parents can now enroll their children!

Enrollment is also open to all parents for Camp BOOK IT!, which will run June-August, 2021.

PreK students (age 4 by Sept. 1st, 2021) are now eligible for all BOOK IT! programs. Be sure to include those students in your enrollment!

The nice part about BOOK IT is that each teacher can choose to participate, it’s no longer a school wide program. Everything is done online, and certificates are emailed when they are earned.  With the digital program, parents can use digital certificates in person, over the phone, or online, for carryout, delivery or dine in providing even more ways for them to celebrate their child’s reading accomplishments.

Get Started here!  And remember to share this post with your teacher friends!

Everyone loves pizza- and nothing is better than FREE PIZZA!

Tryazon Event- Organize the Kids’ Clutter with Deflecto!

Tryazon has another really cool party/event opportunity- perfect for families that are homeschooling, distance learning, or are a teacher in school.

Clean up the kids’ clutter while fighting germs with Tryazon Featured Party opportunity, from Deflecto. Featuring a diverse line of antimicrobial storage and organizational products for kids specifically designed for the art, craft, and education markets. Deflecto’s kids storage now includes SteriTouch® an antimicrobial agent used to inhibit the growth of odor-causing microorganisms, mold and mildew. Durable, stackable and washable storage to keep parents and teachers organized!

Tryazon has100 hosting spots open for this opportunity! Those selected get to receive a party pack valued at $75+ with a variety of Deflecto products to share with friends and family! Learn more and apply here.

If, you’ve never heard of Tryazon (pronounced Try-uh-zon ☺), Tryazon is a service dedicated to getting innovative products into people’s hands and mouths, in fun settings like the party we had today. They offer excellent product samples and savings for all who participate.

2021-2022 School Year BOOK IT Enrollment Open!

80’s and 90’s kids know what’s up!

Book It is still alive and well! Enrollment is now open for the 2021-22 BOOK IT! Program year. Parents can now enroll their homeschool children!

You also have the option to enroll in Camp BOOK IT!, which will run June-August, 2021. Just check the box to opt-in when you enroll!

PreK students (age 4 by Sept. 1st, 2021) are now eligible for BOOK IT! Be sure to include those students in your enrollment!

Another awesome feature of the 2021-2022 school year is that your entire school doesn’t have to participate, teachers can sign up their individual classes!

Please share this post with the parents and teachers in your life! More info about Book It and FAQ can be found here.

Santee School District Spring Break Meal Distribution

Like many other school districts, Santee School district will be handing out free lunches and breakfasts over the spring break.

On March 22, 2021 and March 29, 2021 at the district kitchen (9880 Riverwalk Drive, Santee, CA 92071) from 11:30-12:30, food for each week will be distributed. Please remember to mask up! The menu is listed below.

If you live outside Santee and know about other school districts distributing lunches/meals, please leave information or a link in the comments! Sharing is caring!

Hit Your Fundraising Goals with Dream Dinners!

Fundraising is usually not fun. Having kids sell wrapping paper, candy bars, Entertainment Books..ugh. It’s hard because it’s usually something that not everyone needs.

Dream Dinners wants to help you with a fun, successful fundraiser! Everyone eats, and this fundraiser not only supports your local nonprofit but gives caregivers extra time (most Dream Dinners take about 30 minutes to prepare and serve) around dinner time. The menu options for March are super yummy, and there are lots of kid friendly options!

March Matchness VR Email Header 2Host a fundraising event for you during our March Matchness campaign! In past years, Dream Dinners has raised more than $20,000 each March for non-profits around the country. This year, Dream Dinners will provide a match of up to $500 to the top ten fundraisers in March!

Due to COVID-19, they’ve adjusted their in-store fundraising events to take place as a socially safe, curbside pickup at our store. Here’s how it works:

Calendar IconChoose a date and time for your curbside fundraiser. Do you plan on having a lot of people attend? Dream Dinners can book multiple dates and times!
Chat Bubble IconInvite guests to your fundraiser event. Dream Dinners provides PDF invitations and content for you to share on social media!
Piggy Bank IconYour guests will pay $50 to attend and each attendee* will receive three medium-size meals (nine total servings) to take home and enjoy with their family. Your organization will earn a portion of the sales from each order!
Heart Plate IconRaise an extra $20 for each guest that places a follow-up order at Dream Dinners!
The Dream Dinners fundraisers are perfect for local nonprofits, including school groups, sports teams, animal rescues, food banks, churches, and other causes. Contact Dream Dinners today for more information and to book your curbside fundraiser event at Dream Dinners!

The La Mesa Dream Dinners Team can be contacted via phone at 619-460-6800

*One fundraiser order per household.

Talk Back: I’d love to hear about your favorite fundraising techniques for your local nonprofit!

February Fundraising Program at Mabel’s Labels – Earn 30% off Sitewide

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Is your school or scouting organization looking for a contactless fundraiser? Schools and other organizations still need to fundraise and keep kids safe during the pandemic.

Mabel’s Labels fundraising program is an easy and practical way to raise funds for your school, daycare, team, camp or organization while ensuring kids’ belongings stay out of the lost-and-found.

• No sales pressure and no set end date. Just sign up and make 20% commission on all sales!
• No distribution or sorting! Supporters order online and Mabel’s Labels sends their labels directly to them.
• Quick online ordering for your supporters, plus FREE shipping.
• Free digital and hard copy flyers to help promote your campaign.

*30% off coupon valid through July 31, 2021*

View more about the fundraising program here!

 

Planning for the Unplanned: A Lesson in Grace

So this started out as a post for Instagram, but it got a little wordy, so I decided to turn it into a blog post.

Last week’s meal plan was an epic fail. It was our first full week of distance learning with both kids, and I spent a majority of every day with one or both of them getting settled and accustomed to their schedules.

As a result, I didn’t stick to the meal plan, or get any writing done. This week, we’re trying it again, day by day. We didn’t starve either. We ate a lot of meals that came from pantry staples: Bean, rice, and cheese bowls, Spaghetti with red sauce and garlic bread (I made a huge batch of meat sauce a few weeks ago and froze portions for later meals- and the big kid had a vegetarian meal). And we had take out once… or twice. It was too hot to turn on the oven for our weekly pizza night, so we opted for delivery. Thanks to coupon codes (I love the Honey browser extension- it searches for coupon codes for me!) and the Dosh App, I was able to save $7 on a pizza and get free delivery! I also had coupons for free and BOGO bowls at Panda Express (Dinner for 4 was $8). I stretched them with some frozen Asian blend veggies, which I stirfried.

Every time I looked at our Meal Planning board, I felt discouraged, but after a few days, I realized that I needed to give myself some grace. I was doing the best I could. Everyone was still eating, we have shelter, clothes, we are all healthy. So I didn’t make Chicken Tetrazinni on Wednesday? Life still marches on. The kids have been working hard on their schooling, and its a hard thing to be accustomed to- learning alone with only little faces on an iPad screen a few times a day. I spend a lot of time helping them. Guiding them through worksheets, getting apps set up, encouraging them when they are upset or frustrated.

So this week:

Sunday night we had leftovers just to clean out the refrigerator and make room for the meal prep I was doing. I start our meal plan weeks on Sunday- It’s easier for me, since Sunday night tends to be quiet, and I can focus on it after the kids are in bed.

Monday was breakfast for dinner. I am absolutely in love with the Dehydrated hashbrowns from Costco. They make having hashbrowns at dinner (or really any time) a cinch.

I scrambled eggs with a little bit of half-and-half, and cooked them up with bacon crumbles, also from Costco, top with a little Mexican cheese blend, served with fruit, the aforementioned hash browns, and a half an avocado, and English muffins.

It was quick, it was easy, it was filling, and it was pretty cheap too.

Last night was supposed to be vegetarian chili, but I didn’t have a chance to get it into the crockpot, so instead the kids had what I like to call “Meal of Snacks”. I take a segmented plate and fill each section with something yummy: Peanut butter sandwich or hot, buttered noodles, goldfish crackers, apple or orange slices, fruit snacks, a juice box, or a glass of milk, cheese stick or cheese slices, and graham crackers for dessert. I had a frozen entree.

This week I’m just focusing on quick, easy meals with stuff that we already have on hand. I did a quick shopping trip to Food4less  Monday and picked up about $40 worth of groceries, which should get us through the next 10 days or so.

We have tons of pantry staples, and I have a lot of baking supplies on hand, so I will definitely be baking a pizza and cookies this week, maybe brownies too? We’ll see how the week goes. It’s already Wednesday, so who knows. And we are supposed to have a heatwave starting tomorrow. Again. I’ll be glad when it’s no longer in the triple digits for a week at a time.

 

I’m not gonna pretend that I’m perfect, I’m not gonna pretend that my life is all sunshine and unicorns.  Shit is hard right now for all of us. I wasn’t trained to be a kindergarten teacher or a 4th-grade special education teacher. Adding the stress of teaching daily to everything else that I am supposed to be doing is hard, and stuff falls to the side. Putting away laundry, sweeping up the living room, running the vacuum, washing my hair… But remembering that we are all in the same boat is what’s keeping me going.

Pushing out all of the “Insta-perfect” of my line of sight has done wonders for my mental health. All of those perfectly cultivated and curated pics can be detrimental to our mental health. There is a lot of comparing of ourselves to these photos we see online of perfect, clean, bright white kitchens and homes. Guess what- They aren’t real. These people have helpers: Housekeepers, nannies, mother’s helpers. They aren’t doing it alone. AND NEITHER SHOULD WE. Reach out to your tribe. You aren’t in this alone. We may be limited in our in-person, face to face contact with our friends and family, but we can still make phone calls, facetime, skype, zoom, email, or even write letters the old fashioned way.

You aren’t alone. I see you. I recognize you. I’m here for you.

Until next time: Wash your paws, wear a mask, flatten the curve.