NEWS RELEASE - Circus Celebrates Summer Meals at 26 San Diego Unified Meal-Distribution Sites

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th 2020


Circus Celebrates Summer Meals at 26 San Diego Unified Meal-Distribution Sites 

June 24, 2020 

SAN DIEGO - The Fern Street Circus brought cheer to Clark Middle School on Wednesday to promote San Diego Unified School District’s summer meals program, which will continue at all 26 food distribution sites through the summer. 

Dressed in masks and circus costumes, acrobats and jugglers greeted  families and students in City Heights as they picked up their daily grab-n-go meals. The circus performances  were performed from a safe physical distance while students and families remained in their cars. 


“Whether we are facing school closures due to a pandemic, classes are in session, or students are out for summer break, our priority is to provide nutritious meals to any child in need,” said Gary Petill, Director of San Diego Unified Food and Nutrition Services. 

 San Diego Unified opened meal-distribution sites  on March 16, the day COVID-19 school closures took effect. What started with eight meal sites grew to 26 in a matter of weeks, and what started with two meals a day grew to four meals a day. To date, San Diego Unified has served more than 2.5 million meals since district facilities closed to help stop the spread of the virus.. 

“The two million mark shows that this crisis has impacted so many of our students and families,” said Superintendent  Marten. “We have and will continue to provide students with healthy meals so that they can continue on a path of health, wellness and success.” 

Open Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., the drive-thru  and walk-up distribution sites serve free meals at all 26 locations. Children do not need to be present during food pick-up, but a student ID and/or photo of the child/children need to be shown.

 While the district does not serve food on the weekend, it is distributing one extra breakfast and one extra lunch on each Thursday and Friday, allowing each child to receive two breakfasts and two lunches. The district is also serving evening meals Monday through Wednesday. Due to current COVID-19 guidelines, students and families may not congregate at food sites. 

“We are proud to continue serving these essential meals as well as additional food for families with the support of our partnering organizations, Feeding San Diego the San Diego Food bank and the Human Society/Paws,” Petill said. 


The San Diego Food Bank will begin operating Super Pantries in 30 locations around San Diego County, starting July 1, 2020. These pantries will be high-volume food distribution centers that will provide service three times per week, and reduce the amount of time families will need to wait in line.

The state provided Pandemic-Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)  is also available for families of students who qualify for free and reduced price meals. The deadline for families to apply has been extended to July 15. More information can be found in the related links below. 


Meal Information for Students and Parents (English) 

Meal Information for Students and Parents (Spanish) 

Feeding San Diego Meal Information

San Diego Food Bank Meal Information

San Diego Hunger Coalition Meal Information 


Jamie Ries, Facilities Communication Liaison, 619-855-9283,  



Share this: