San Jose school lunch company switches meals to emergency meals during pandemic
By Anne Gelhaus
A school lunch catering company based in Willow Glen has partnered with the Santa Clara County Office of Education and Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen to provide thousands of free meals to Bay Area residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Todd Evjenth runs My Green Lunch out of the former Aki’s Bakery site on Meridian Avenue. He started the company in 2012 to provide healthy, locally sourced hot meals to Silicon Valley schools. With schools shut down during the “shelter in place” order, Evjenth switched gears to focus on those in need.
“My Green Lunch has completely shifted our focus from providing healthy school lunches to providing healthy emergency meal relief,” Evjenth said in a statement. As of April 9, My Green Lunch had provided 5,450 meals. The company’s goal is to provide a total of 2,500 free meals a week for the foreseeable future.
The Office of Education is distributing the meals Thursdays and Fridays, 11:30a.m.-1:30 p.m. at its offices, located at 1290 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose. Loaves and Fishes is using its A La Carte van to bring the meals to Bishop Elementary School in Sunnyvale on Tuesdays, Brentwood Academy in East Palo Alto on Wednesdays, Mountain View High School on Thursdays and Parkside Studios in Sunnyvale on Fridays. The A La Carte van also stops at San Miguel Elementary School in Sunnyvale or Educare California Silicon Valley in San Jose on alternate Fridays.
This “partnership is allowing us to continue to fulfill our mission to feed our hungry and homeless neighbors in need,” said Mauricio Cordova, Chief Operations Officer at Loaves and Fishes.
“With school closures to student attendance now extended, there are parents and caregivers that may have difficulty providing meals for their families,” said Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools Mary Ann Dewan. “Our partnership with My Green Lunch will go far in helping families feel supported during during this time of need and uncertainty.”
To fund the effort, My Green Lunch launched a GoFundMe campaign, with donations going directly to paying for sourcing ingredients, meal preparation and meal delivery to dedicated drop-off locations assigned by the Santa Clara County Office of Education and Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen organizations. For every $5 donated, one free meal will be provided. These meals are prepared fresh in their San Jose kitchen and include vegetables sourced from local and organic family farms whenever possible. They are sealed in individual compostable containers for delivery.
As of April 9, the campaign had raised almost $30,000 toward its $300,000 goal.
To donate, visit Gofundme.com and search “My Green Lunch.”