No School Lunches on Winter Break, Kids Go to Soup Kitchens | News
SALINAS, Calif.- Young faces at Dorothy's Place soup kitchen in Salinas, "Is not the norm," said director Rev. Rick Slone.
Dorothy's Place serves about 150 people per day but recently those faces have gotten a lot younger.
The change happened within the last couple of weeks since school has been out for winter break, and kids don't have access to school lunches.
In July, Central Coast News told you about Alisal Union School District's free summer lunch program. The district said it doesn't do a winter lunch program because there wasn't money in the budget.
Alisal High School has winter inter-session which does offer a free lunch, but this year it reduced its class size by nearly 700 kids because of state budget cuts.
Faced with the reality of providing one more meal while school is out, some parents have turned to Dorothy's Place for that extra meal option.
"When we see them in this environment where it's by in large the chronically homeless, I start wondering what happened?"
Slone is worried the problem will extend beyond holiday school breaks, "When we see new faces, especially children I start feeling concerned that the safety net that would normally catch people with children, is not functioning properly."
There is some good news. Dorothy's Place said over 100 people donated food for Thanksgiving dinners. The kitchen exceeded their 1,000 meal goal and used the leftovers for Christmas.