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Survey: Inadequate Resources, Food Insecurity Impacting LA Families And Students

A mother of three children takes free food from a community refrigerator in Miami, Florida.
A mother of three children takes free food from a community refrigerator in Miami, Florida.

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School-age children and their families living in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Watts, Boyle Heights and South LA are up against enormous challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, according to a new survey. Those challenges include food insecurity, lack of access to computers and a place to do school work and job loss. 

The new survey, conducted by USC researchers and the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, found about 30 percent of families had experienced housing insecurity and about 75 percent had faced job loss and food insecurity, the Los Angeles Times reports.

More than a third of the students don’t have access to a place to do their online learning. The survey focused on LA neighborhoods that have been hit hard by the pandemic and received feedback from more than 1,100 families. It only looks at the past spring semester, not accounting for the start of the current one. LAUSD along with other county districts have delayed reopening campuses as an attempt to keep the coronavirus at bay, but that decision could lead to negative consequences for struggling families and students.

Today on AirTalk, we discuss the findings of the survey, how LA county districts have responded to challenges and how schools plan to move forward. We also welcome listener thoughts. Have you experienced any of these challenges throughout the pandemic? Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.

With guest host Kyle Stokes


Ryan Smith, chief external officer at Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, which conducted the survey; they are an independent nonprofit organization that works with the Los Angeles Unified School District to manage a network of district schools in Boyle Heights, Watts and South L.A.

Debra Duardo, Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools; she tweets @DebraDuardo