On Tuesday, Dec. 5, students lined up in front of the main entrance and south parking lot to receive San Gabriel High School’s (SGHS) first Grab ‘N’ Go breakfast takeouts. Students were able to receive breakfast at a fast rate due to breakfast carts placed at the most convenient spots at SGHS: the main gate near the horseshoe and in front of E building. Giveaway items such as lunch passes or $10 gift cards (redeemable at the student store) are being placed randomly in bags during the first week of operation.
According to William Fong, Alhambra Unified School District (AUSD) Director of Food and Nutrition Services, the Grab ‘N’ Go program was funded by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“Each Free or Reduced Priced meal (breakfasts) that we served, the USDA will reimburse us a set amount,” Fong said. “Since [SGHS] has a high Free and Reduced rate (70 percent or higher), we are able to offer free breakfast for every student. Food and Nutrition Services will absorb the cost for [paid] breakfasts.”
Junior Adriana Leyva believes that the free breakfast served from the Grab ‘N’ Go program is beneficial for students at SG.
“What I thought about the new Grab ‘N’ Go breakfast, [was that] they usually have the same breakfast, but it’s just different because it’s free now,” Leyva said. “It’s better for our students to get free [breakfast] so they don’t have to worry about spending money; they can also have their nutritions in school.”
Besides receiving free breakfast, students were presented with small giveaways in randomly selected takeout bags. Fong explained the rules of the incentives.
“For the grand opening weeks [Tuesday to Friday], we are going to give out 50 front-of-the-line passes and three gift cards for [the] student store everyday,” Fong said.
Roxanne Venegas, the cook manager of the cafeteria staff, thought the launch was successful despite of some confusions among students.
“Actually I think it’s a great concept as long the students figure out the best place for them to just grab it,” Venegas said. “The only problem I saw was that students were still coming to the cafeteria, so one person did have to stand outside [to guide the students].”
The main purpose for Grab ‘N’ Go program to be certified by AUSD was to decrease tardiness, increase school breakfast participation, and improve academic achievement among students. Although there was some criticism by students, students enjoyed the warm welcoming of cafeteria staff members overall. All students are welcomed to the Grab ‘N’ Go program from Dec. 5 through the rest of the school year from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. to enjoy free breakfast at the student’s convenience.