Monday, February 2, 2009
San Diego parents who are struggling to put food on the table might soon get help from the San Diego Unified School District. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.
The district and the San Diego Hunger Coalition are looking into how they can bring San Diego County's food stamp enrollment process on campus.
They want to train volunteers to screen parents, answer questions, and fill out paperwork. The process would initially take place on at least three South San Diego campuses.
The county has the lowest food stamp participation rate in the country.
Organizer Jen Tracy says schools could help break down barriers.
Parents can go to a place where they already know and trust. So instead of going to this big , scary county government office, they can go to a school where if they get a notice from the county they don't understand, they can go back to somebody that they do know to find out what is going on.
Tracy says about 78,000 school kids qualify for free and reduced district meals. She believes many come from families eligible for food stamps. Tracy says research shows healthy, happy kids do better in school.
Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.