July 14, 2024


El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

Rialto Unified School District’s Summer Feeding Program Drew Thousands with BBQs and Education

2 min read

A RUSD student enjoying a snack at a beach themed barbeque in summer 2023.

The Rialto Unified School District kicked off its annual Summer Feeding Program on June 9 with a beach-themed BBQ event at Frisbie Park, drawing over 1,900 attendees from the community, district, and local businesses.

The program, recognized for its commitment to nutrition education and family engagement, showcased the Child Nutrition team’s new “Aloha Bowls.” These dishes, made possible by the United States Department of Agriculture’s contributions to school nutrition, featured homemade huli huli sauce over grilled chicken, whole grain fried rice with grilled vegetables, and green onions sourced from student gardens. Accompanying the main dish were cherries, dragon fruit, and pineapple chunks. All meals were offered free of charge to children aged 1-18, with adult meals sponsored by The Dairy Council.

Fausat Rahman-Davies, Lead Child Nutrition Agent, Gianni Vergara, Eisenhower Student, Mrs. Stephanie Lewis, Board President, and Dr. Cuauhtémoc Avila, Superintendent at a Summer Feeding Program event in 2023.

June’s BBQ wasn’t just about food. The Dairy Council of California provided an outdoor nutrition lesson and introduced their cow, Wednesday Addams. Attendees were also treated to performances by Eisenhower High School’s Polynesian Dancers, Xiuh Arte Indigenous Aztec Dancers, and the Carter High School cheer team. Local emergency services and county workers mingled with the crowd, and children enjoyed face painting and other activities.

The festivities continued on July 7 at Joe Sampson Park with the “Pump-it-Up BBQ” event. Over 2,200 meals were served amidst a relaxed beach atmosphere. The musical backdrop was provided by guitarist and vocalist Luke Metzler, with Eisenhower High student Gianni Vergara delivering a rendition of the National Anthem. The event also featured booths offering free resources, activities, and giveaways for families. San Bernardino County representatives were on hand to share information on mosquito safety, dental care, and nutrition.

Throughout the summer, meals were available Monday through Friday at various Rialto locations. The program concluded its successful run on July 28.


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