Community food distributions end after challenging year

Nearly 1,200 cars and trucks looped around Barnett Stadium under a blazing sun, waiting for their final distribution of family food and household supplies from the Neighborhood Supersite at Barnett Stadium.

First in line was father of seven Enrique Alvarado, who said he was thankful for the support because the pandemic had negatively impacted his job.

“I am grateful that my children were able to get food, especially milk,” he said.

HISD Nutrition Services launched its community food distribution program last March, just days after the district had to close its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, the 1,600-member team has worked six-days-a-week, staffed more than 10,000 distribution sites, distributed more than 44 million pounds of food and household supplies, and prepared and served more than 8.9 million meals — all while maintaining standard cafeteria services for face-to-face students.

The department worked through not just the pandemic, but also torrential rains, extreme heat, high winds, and even a winter storm as they stepped up to the front lines.

“This Nutrition Services team took their mission seriously,” Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins said. “Everything that could have been done to help our food-insecure students and their families, they did it.”

The district announced last month that it would be closing its popular weekly Neighborhood Supersite community distribution program as the end of the school year drew near and public health conditions improved. The Barnett Stadium location was the last of eight sites to close.

“Everybody still has food needs,” regular recipient Trevor McDade said. “God bless you, HISD, for all you have done for us.”

Nutrition Services Senior Operations Manager Keith Lewis said the team will now concentrate on campus operations.

“We will be shifting our attention to our school kitchens where we serve good food to our students attending class,” Lewis said, noting that planning for the summer meals program also is underway.

Virtual learners can continue to pick up curbside student meals on Mondays and Thursdays through Thursday, June 10, 2021. Student meal delivery to select apartment complexes will continue through Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.

For a complete list of distribution times and locations, visit