Superintendent plays Santa as LAUSD’s mammoth Grab & Go food program rolls on through the holidays

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner donned his red suit, his white beard and his Dodger Blue face mask on Wednesday, Dec. 23, taking on St. Nick’s role to help distribute meals and gifts at one of the district’s Grab & Go Food Centers, at L.A.’s Washington Prep High School.

The nation’s second-largest school district has been distributing food to families in need since the very start of the pandemic, when school shutdowns disrupted programs that feed students on campus. The district’s mammoth Grab & Go Food Centers project has distributed 90 million meals to students and their families since the outbreak began, officials said.

LAUSD will continue to feed students, families and individuals seeking food assistance during winter break, but its Grab & Go Food Centers are operating on a modified schedule this week and next.

Instead of the usual Monday through Friday operation, the food centers ran Monday through Wednesday this week and the same schedule will be in place next week.

Those who come on Wednesday, Dec. 30, will receive five days’ worth of meals per person in their household to get them through the rest of the week until the following Monday.

Regular operations will resume Jan. 4.

Anyone in the community can walk or drive up to any of the district’s 63 Grab & Go centers from 7 to 10 a.m. on the days they’re open. A list and map of the centers’ locations are available on the district’s website.

The district, through donations from businesses and others, has also distributed more than 17 million other items and supplies, such as diapers, books, toys, sporting equipment and treats. Anyone wishing to donate can visit for information.

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