McAllen ISD, in partnership with the Texas Department of Agriculture, will sponsor free nutritious meals at participating feeding sites to children 18 years of age and under this summer.
The program will begin on Friday, May 29 and run through July 31.
Food will be distributed at 22 sites which includes four Grab and Go sites plus 18 bus routes into neighborhoods as part of the Meals on Wheels program. Meals will be available between 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at all sites.
For times and locations, click here: https://www.mcallenisd.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1694374&type=d&pREC_ID=1946656
Since March 23, McAllen ISD has been serving meals to students through either a Grab and Go location or its Meals on Wheels program as students have remained at home during the COVID-19 crisis. There will be a seamless transition to the Summer Feeding Program without any days being missed.
Since March 23, McAllen ISD has served more than 514,000 meals to children. It is projecting to deliver approximately 950,000 more meals this summer.
The meal bundles will include breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each Friday, children will also receive bundles that include snacks for Saturday and Sunday. The dinners and snacks are a new feature this year. Meals will continue to be done with a non-congregate grab and go model at all sites to limit exposure.
“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.”
All meal sites will remain the same ones utilized during COVID-19 Emergency Feeding distribution since March 23.
McAllen ISD staff will continue to follow social distancing protocols during the summer. Families are encouraged to wear a face covering while picking up meals.
The child must be present in the vehicle or the student’s school ID number or birth certificate can be written on paper displayed on the dashboard.
At Grab and Go sites, adults should remain in their vehicle and staff will assist.
At Meals on Wheels locations, families should form a line and remain at least six-feet apart from others. Families can also remain in their vehicles. Out of an abundance of caution, staff will wear face masks and shields as a protective measure. A police officer will be at each site to help ensure everyone’s safety.
No documents or proof of income are required nor do children have to be McAllen ISD students.
In Texas, one in four children have food insecurity but in the Rio Grande Valley, it is one in two.
The Meals on Wheels aspect of the program has proven so successful, it has earned national attention. McAllen ISD’s Director for Food and Nutrition Services, Alexandra 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.
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 more than 186,000 meals in summer 2019. That number is expected to rise significantly this summer due to the addition of dinners and snacks.
To find summer feeding locations, go to the McAllen ISD website (mcallenisd.org). 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.