LA VERNE/SAN DIMAS – Bonita Unified School District presented members of its Food Services Department with the Purpose Award during an April 7 Board of Education meeting, celebrating their exemplary commitment to students and families throughout the pandemic.

The Bonita Unified Food Services team has provided its community with more than 750,000 free meals via curbside pick-up since the closure of schools in March 2020. On average, the District serves more than 1,700 breakfast and lunch meals daily.

“The District has been so supportive of us and our efforts since the very beginning, and it feels good to know that they know just how hard we have all been working to ensure that our kids receive free meals,” said Kim Castellano, a Food Services team member of more than 11 years.

Susan Hume, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, said the District was committed to providing free meals to the community when campuses closed, whether or not the costs would be covered by the federal government, because it was the right thing to do. The BUSD Food Services team adapted quickly to create a curbside pick-up system that would safely provide meals to students in a consistent way.

As local and state public health officials recommended that schools remain closed through the fall semester, the federal government extended the waiver that would ensure schools would be reimbursed for all free meals provided.

“This award is about thanking our staff for the incredible adaptability, perseverance and care they have shown during these challenging times, and how much we all appreciate their hard work and willingness to show up every day for our students,” Bonita Unified Board of Education President Chuck Coyne said. “Thank you to the BUSD Food Services Department for your unwavering commitment to our school community.”

Operating out of five locations throughout the District, the Food Services team provides the community with convenient curbside pick-up from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday at the Central Kitchen, Lone Hill Middle School and La Verne Heights, Roynon and Ekstrand Elementary Schools. Local partners frequently donate food, lunches and care packages for the BUSD staff to hand out to families.

“Bonita Unified School District’s core values are equity, mastery and a focus on results, and every single member of the Food Services Department embodies these values in way or another,” Bonita Unified Superintendent Carl Coles said. “Our teams do more than simply hand out meals; they connect with our students, parents and families, providing them with consistency in a time fraught with so much uncertainty.”


04.13.21_BUSD_PURPOSE1: The Bonita Unified Food Services Department receives the Bonita Purpose Award during the April 7 Board Meeting for exemplary conduct, adaptability and commitment to students during the pandemic.