McAllen ISD’s annual Summer Feeding Program will serve free, nutritious meals at participating feeding sites to children 18 years of age and under this summer.
Meals will be provided at 58 sites, many of them twice per day. More sites could possibly be added as the summer goes on. The school district is teaming with the City of McAllen to announce this project.
“We know that the Summer Feeding Program fills a need for families,” McAllen ISD Superintendent J.A. Gonzalez, Ed.D., said. “In McAllen ISD, we focus, not only on educating the mind, but on promoting a healthy and active lifestyle for children so they will grow up to lead productive lives. Healthy children make healthy learners.”
The program will begin on Monday, June 4, at many locations. Meals will be prepared in the district’s modern central kitchen. These meals are fresh and served while hot. Each site will serve meals twice per day but children have the opportunity for up to four meals per day by visiting sites throughout the city. This includes breakfast, lunch, a snack and dinner.
“The Summer Food Program is a great initiative to make sure that our most vulnerable in our community do not get left behind in the summer from lack of nutrition and food security,” City of McAllen Mayor Jim Darling said. “I am so proud of the partnership that exists between the City of McAllen and McAllen ISD to make sure there are feeding sites all over town for all of our youth, ages 1 to 18. I encourage everyone who is eligible to stop by for a hot, nutritious and delicious meal.”
The list of sites includes 16 bus routes that take meals into neighborhoods. It’s called Meals on Wheels. These are school buses packed with tasty, nutritious food that visit neighborhoods. This will be the fourth year the district has included Meals on Wheels as part of the Summer Feeding Program.
The Meals on Wheels aspect of the program has proven so successful, it has earned national attention. Ms. Molina has presented on this subject to the School Nutrition Association in Boston. The association also has recognized McAllen ISD for innovations in fighting hunger.
As an incentive for participation, there will be weekly and monthly raffle drawings for prizes for children with 100 percent participation in the program. Children will be given punch cards to track their participation. The district has formed partnerships with civic and local business organizations to launch this incentive program.
The federal government funds the program through the Texas Department of Agriculture. The school district is reimbursed for the meals it serves. The district served 232,607 meals in summer 2017 – an increase of almost 15 percent from 2016.
No documents or proof of income are required. Children can simply show up to any one of the locations throughout the city of McAllen, including schools, City of McAllen facilities, splash pads and parks, and even, places of worship, and a hot meal will be provided.
To find summer feeding locations, go to the McAllen ISD website (mcallenisd.org) or City of McAllen website (mcallen.net). You can also dial a state hotline number (2-1-1) to get locations near you. Or, send a text. Type the word “Foodtx” and send to 877-877.
For more information on the program, contact the McAllen ISD Child Nutrition Department at (956) 632-3226.