Seen in Natomas: New Community Partnerships

Stanford Settlement social workers sort grab-and-go meals supplied by the Twin Rivers Unified School District.

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Grab-and-go meals include lunch and breakfast for the next day.

When Stanford Settlement Neighborhood Center had to close its buildings in response to the statewide stay-at-home order, that didn’t shutter its programs.

Instead, the Natomas-based nonprofit pivoted to change the way it serves children, teens and senior citizens. Now Stanford Settlement staff continue to connect with those they serve through phone calls and porch visits — practicing social distancing guidelines.

And when the Twin Rivers Unified started providing grab-and-go meals at some of its school sites in March, the school district also partnered with Stanford Settlement to provide food to the youth on their caseload.

Currently, Stanford Settlement social workers deliver about 250 breakfast and lunch packs per day, four days a week. The food is provided by Twin Rivers Unified.

“It is a unique partnership,” said Leslie Pring, the school district’s Director of Nutritional Services.

This partnership between the school district and non-profit, Pring said, helps some families who would not otherwise be able to get to a school site to pick up meals. It also minimizes the need for some families to leave their homes, thus reducing their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Until children’s programs resume and the teen center reopens, executive director Julie Rhoten said Stanford Settlement’s staff continue their work during visits in the community.

“Using social distancing and following hygiene requirements, they deliver breakfast and lunch four days per week,” Rhoten said. “During these visits, they are also ‘checking in,’ and assessing how each young person is coping.”

Rhoten said Stanford Settlement has previously partnered with Twin Rivers Unified to provide transportation for its summer programs. The agency also has a representative on the district’s School Attendance Review Board and regularly visits schools attended by children’s program and teen center participants.

Tuesday through Thursday mornings, Twin Rivers Unified delivers meals to Stanford Settlement. Once the meals have been unloaded, social worker staff sort them into routes and then load them into vehicles for delivery. Staff wear gloves and masks during deliveries.

“These are breakfast and lunch meals provided by Stanford Settlement, the afternoon program my grandkids go to after school,” Sharon Brooksboyd posted to Facebook on March 24. “We thank you for the help. This keeps me from running to store, or food lockers to feed these kids while out of school. Thanks for keeping us safe.”

Twin Rivers Unified has provided nearly 193,500 grab-and-go meals since March 17, including those delivered by Stanford Settlement, according to the district website.

The district’s nutrition services division distributes meals at 19 drive-thru school sites and three community sites. In Natomas, those include:

  • Garden Valley Elementary from 11:30 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. at 3601 Larchwood Drive;
  • Smythe Academy of the Arts K-6 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 2781 Northgate Boulevard; and
  • Regency Park Elementary from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 5901 Bridgecross Drive.

While the senior center is closed, Stanford Settlement staff deliver shelf-stable meals to seniors which are supplied by Meals on Wheels by ACC. Grocery boxes are also being provided to seniors with help from River City Food Bank, Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, Sacramento Republic FC and other donors.

You may also be interested in:
Twin Rivers Nutrition Services website for a full list of participating sites and schedule.
Natomas Unified School District list of sites where meals are distributed five days a week.
Hundreds Fed First Day of Free Meals in Natomas
Stanford Settlement’s emergency assistance food drive

Stanford Settlement social workers load meals into vehicles for distribution to children and teens on their caseload.

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