In an upcoming June 14 Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District board meeting, a revision to the district’s food and nutrition program will be explored as well establishing separate fundraising vehicles for Santa Monica and Malibu school districts.

FOOD AND NUTRITION PROGRAM PROPOSED REVISION

SMMUSD is proposing a revision of their Food and Nutrition program. A presentation slated to show at a June 14 board meeting provides planned provisions facing the program due to recent challenges.

Challenges include low participation rate, some dissatisfaction with food offerings, outdated or non-functioning equipment, and accessibility issues such as long lines and short lunch periods.

In addition to these challenges, program participation is low with 2,791 lunches being eaten daily and 579 breakfasts being eaten daily in the 2016-2017 year. Enrollment for all sites is 10,488 students. Low participation affects funding as the school is reimbursed per eaten meal.

To increase participation, the program has proposed many options, including freshly prepared meals at revamped Samohi and Malibu HS kitchens to be distributed throughout the district; grab and go meals of freshly prepared salads, sandwiches, and yogurt parfaits; kiosk-like locations to reduce waiting times for students during lunch breaks; student-driven menus and rebranding the program.

SEPARATE FUNDRAISING

Looking to mirror the funding formula of the probable School Facility Improvement District bond measure, community representatives are hoping to change Santa Monica and Malibu’s fundraising structure.

Guided by representatives of the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF), PTA Council, Malibu PTAs, Malibu principals, several Board members and others, the proposed plan would ensure that money raised for Malibu goes to Malibu and money raised for Santa Monica goes to Santa Monica.

Its noted in the report that for the past five years, 95% of money raised has come from Santa Monica parents while only 5% of money raised has come from Malibu, a city with a much smaller population.

SMMEF is “hopeful” that the change in fundraising structure would benefit both schools.

If “the most positive outcome occurs” upon separation and both districts fundraise in excess, that money would go to an endowment, banked to roll over and help the following school year’s costs, or become part of a plan to fund “aspirational” programs.

Other discussion items include: public comments to be heard on the creation of the Santa Monica and Malibu SFIDs, end-of-year District Advisory committee reports, and consideration of revising courses of study and high school graduation requirements.

angel@smdp.com

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