FUSD food services and staff make changes amid COVID-19 pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Across the Valley, it's more than just teachers feeling the impact of distance learning.

"Overnight we went from serving in cafeterias to serving curbside for our 74,000 plus students and the community," said Fresno Unified School District Food Services Director Amanda Harvey. "It changed significantly for us."

Smaller staff groups mean they have to work at a faster pace to get the necessary food to kids. Ruben Martinez is just one worker adapting to the changes.

"I was out for a while," said Martinez. "I was high risk, so I came back in August."

He's happy to be back with his coworkers but says there are noticeable changes.

"It's a little different with a mask and everything," explained Martinez, "but I feel really safe. I feel like we're still doing a good job and the kids always come first."

To keep up with 60 meal pick-up locations staff has proven to be flexible, shifting locations as needed.

"We shift staff a lot," explained Harvey. "We might just have one or two staff that work at an elementary school and may have 22 at larger high schools but we don't need that much at larger schools we need more at elementary schools."

They've also adapted the menus for takeout.

"We had to completely revamp our menus to make them grab and go accessible," said Harvey. "We just jumped into it. We all jumped on board and didn't miss a day."

Employees like Martinez are confident it's all worth it, to keep their students happy and healthy.

"We are a family here, all my coworkers I haven't seen them in 9 months," said Martinez. "It's really great to be back here and it's a great environment."
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