Weekly roundup: Anaheim opens districtwide food pantry, Inside the Outdoors program hosts Earth Day events, and more

Anaheim Union High School District students, staff and board members open the "Gilbert Mercadito"
Anaheim Union High School District students, staff and board members open the “Gilbert Mercadito.” (Courtesy of AUHSD)

In an effort to further alleviate food insecurity in its community, the Anaheim Union High School District opened its first permanent food pantry with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, held April 20 on the Gilbert High School campus. 

The “Gilbert Mercadito,” or little market, was created in partnership with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County to replace monthly food distribution services provided to all students, families and community members in need. Anaheim Union board members and district staff joined students, parents and school staff Thursday to officially open the ‘Mercadito’s’ doors and introduce this new resource for the community.

With the pantry’s live food distribution services, those who had previously relied on a monthly box of mystery food can now access a variety of healthy options like fresh fruit and vegetables. 

Anaheim Union district staff and students visit the food pantry at the "Gilbert Mercadito."
(Courtesy of Anaheim Union High School District)

“This is something our community has been advocating for,” Gilbert High Community School Coordinator Isabel Tabares said in a statement.

The districtwide food market was developed by the Anaheim Union Community Schools Program, which also created the Magnolia High School Agriscience Community Center to facilitate lessons on agricultural practices while providing the region with fresh produce from its two-and-a-half acre farm.

“This is a big change for Gilbert High School and the larger community as a whole,” Gilbert Principal Jose Lara said in a statement. “Having a place where they can have consistent access to dignified, equitable nutritious food, creates a foundation for community health for our school and community.”

Here are the other stories we’ve been following this week:

Santiago STEAM Magnet Elementary School in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District
  • Santiago STEAM Magnet Elementary School in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District has been named a ‘Green Ribbon School’ by the U.S. Department of Education for reducing environmental impacts on campus while offering sustainability educational programs.
  • Four high school teams from Orange County are putting their STEM skills to the test from April 19 to April 22 at the action-packed FIRST Robotics Competition world championships in Houston, Texas.
  • Pendleton Elementary School in the Buena Park School District celebrated its first Special Olympics Field Day, inviting students from special education to team up with their general education peers for activities like playing soccer and dancing with hula hoops.
Northwood High School students
  • Ocean View School District students read for 463,392 minutes as part of the “Reading Makes a Difference” campaign which helps donate books and dolls to children in four local hospitals.
  • After serving the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District for five years, Dr. Alex Cherniss will soon take on a new role as Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District superintendent.
  • Aliso Niguel High School students and staff were evacuated from campus Monday after receiving a call that the Orange County sheriff’s Bomb Squad later deemed a non-credible threat. 

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.