Nutrition Services jumps into action to help schools affected by flooding


Maria Aristondo prepares emergency sack lunches for HISD kitchens affected by recent flooding.

During the recent heavy storms that swept the Houston area and the resulting flooding, Nutrition Services staff members were quick to respond.

Some HISD schools were left soggy and unable to prepare student meals in their school’s cafeterias. Cue the Nutrition Services shipping kitchen, 800 sack lunches were prepared in fewer than 15 minutes.

According to Alfredo Santos, Nutrition Services Shipping Kitchen manager, the staff were anticipating the need for sack lunches because of the bad weather.

“We knew the day before so we started to prep,” Santos said. “As always, we were prepared.”

The kitchen staff who live close to HISD’s food production facility, where the shipping kitchen is located, were able to make it into work Monday to prep both breakfasts and lunches.

The shipping kitchen prepared and delivered 120,000 meals to six HISD schools. Each lunch consisted of a sandwich, a fruit, a vegetable, and milk or juice.

“We ensured that not one student went without a meal,” said Keith Lewis, senior operations manager. “And our shipping kitchen was amazing in how quickly it responded.”

In addition to taking care of its own students, Nutrition Services also provided much needed food supplies to the three shelters that were opened to accommodate Houston citizens displaced by flooding.

On Monday, Nutrition Services donated 50 cases of bottled water, 28 cases of fruit juice, 15 cases of gala apples and 32 cases of breakfast meal kits, containing cereal, raisins, juice and graham crackers. Six Nutrition Services staff members also braved the bad weather to provide support at each of the shelters.