OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS)- Many Bay Area schools are suffering from deep budget cuts, affecting everyone from teachers to janitors.

But one thing that has managed to escape the budget axe in the East Bay is the summer school lunch program.

More than 20 thousand teachers in California have received pink slips. The state has withheld $17 billion in education funding.

The summer school lunch program, which receives federal funding, remains a priority. But, Troy Flint of the Oakland Unified School District says it is getting hard to keep the program intact.

“We had to slice $122 million from our budget just last week in order to balance it. There are no easy decisions. We’re faced with tough choices,” said Flint.

He says the need to provide a free or reduced lunch program is greater than ever. Karen Fuqua would agree. She’s the spokeswoman for the San Jose Unified School District. “It’s critical”, she says.

“We really have seen a difference. Kids are more active at school. Their learning capacity is better,” said Fuqua.

Statewide, participation in the summer lunch program has declined by 10 percent, according to the Contra Costa Times. That is not the case in either Alameda or Contra Costa County.


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