Category Archives: Business Operations

HISD, No Kid Hungry join forces to distribute food and spread holiday cheer

Hundreds of cars idled under a grey sky with trunks ajar on Saturday as Nutrition Services worked to load them full of bags, heavy with holiday turkeys, groceries, and other household supplies.

Jessie Eagle was among those in line. She spent hours snaking through the parking lot, using the time to knit a scarf — a handmade holiday present — out of forest green yarn.

The mom of three said she was laid off earlier this year due to the pandemic, so she came to HISD’s Neighborhood Supersite at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center on Saturday for help.

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From classroom delivery to grab-and-go, Nutrition Services continues to reinvent lunch

Lunchtime for Tracey Crawley’s first-grade class looks a bit different these days.

Instead of eating in a bustling cafeteria, the Gregory-Lincoln Education Center students now have lunch delivered directly to their classroom. Though different, it’s something the students still look forward to — especially on chicken nuggets day.

“It’s like second nature now,” Crawley said about her students’ new lunch model and safety protocols. “The atmosphere is set for them. The food is always on time. Our team has done a great job in making it an easy process.”

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HISD’s return to the classroom supported by $200,000 donation from Phillips 66

The Houston Independent School District has been disinfecting schools daily in order to combat the spread of COVID-19, and a $200,000 donation from locally based international energy company Phillips 66 is now supporting those efforts to protect students and staff.

HISD has utilized the donation to outfit schools with state-of-the-art electrostatic cleaning supplies and equipment. The Phillips 66 donation is designed to assist with safe continuation of in-person instruction on district campuses.

“There is no doubt that this generous gift is making our campuses safer,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We deeply appreciate Phillips 66’s desire to help HISD keep our campuses clean and safe.”

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HISD, No Kid Hungry to provide up to 5,000 holiday turkeys to families in need

For a lot of families, the holiday table doesn’t feel complete without a turkey as its centerpiece.

Nutrition Services will be able to provide that holiday hallmark — and a little extra holiday cheer — for up to 5,000 HISD families thanks to a partnership with and generous donation from No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit organization that aims to end child hunger.

Up to 5,000 turkeys will be distributed to Houston families just ahead of HISD’s winter break during Neighborhood Supersites scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12 and Wednesday, Dec. 16. The turkeys are funded by an $80,000 donation from No Kid Hungry.

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HISD increasing food distribution ahead of Thanksgiving break

As the district prepares to close its doors for Thanksgiving, Nutrition Services is ramping up efforts to ensure all students have access to healthy food during the week-long break, which kicks off Monday, Nov. 23.

All campus curbside pickup locations will offer seven days’ worth of student meals on Thursday, Nov. 19 — the final campus curbside pickup date prior to Thanksgiving break. Typically, campus curbside pickups offer three to four days’ worth, but not a week’s worth.

Additionally, a third Neighborhood Supersites will be held at Sugar Grove Academy on Saturday, Nov. 21 — the final community distribution before Thanksgiving. The new location is in addition to two existing distribution sites on Saturdays and one on Wednesdays.

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Nutrition Services outlines health protocols for in-school meals

As in-person instruction continues across HISD, Nutrition Services has partnered with teachers and other campus workers to create a safe and healthy environment for students to be well-fed and ready to learn.

The department has created health and safety protocols to ensure safety and curb the spread of COVID-19. District students are served breakfast and lunch. Individual campuses can choose either the classroom or cafeterias for lunchtime, depending on the needs of each school.

Steps include washing or sanitizing hands and sanitizing tables before meals, as well as requiring masks and physical distancing for all students and staff. Meals are individually wrapped, and students are seated in designated areas to allow for distancing and staggered arrangements.

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HVAC team lead keeps students, staff comfortable and safe

When it comes to temperature levels, HVAC team lead Jonathan Harper is an expert in keeping things ‘just right.’

‘Just right’ can depend on the season with sweltering Texas heat and mild winters. But his goal is always the same — keep students and staff comfortable.

“If I get a call saying a building is too hot, my first response is to check the chillers on the roof,” Harper said.

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Third location added for weekly food distribution

As the holiday season approaches, Nutrition Services is opening a third location for its weekly community distributions of food and other supplies.

Starting Wednesday, Nov. 11, Barnett Stadium will host a weekly Neighborhood Supersite from 2 to 6 p.m. The district had planned to re-launch the Wednesday site this week but there was a delay in the delivery of supplies.

The distribution at the stadium, located at 6800 Fairway Drive, will be in addition to the Saturday sites at Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center and Hexser T. Holliday Food Services Support Center.

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Bus driver goes extra mile for student safety

When HISD closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, bus driver Althea McWhorter never got the chance to say goodbye to the seniors who rode her bus every day for four years.

For someone who thoroughly enjoys getting to know her passengers as she drives them to and from school each day, losing the chance to say goodbye was not easy. But she’s hoping this year will be different.

Armed with new bus safety measures and a duffel bag of disinfecting supplies, McWhorter was ready to welcome a new group of students returning this month for in-person instruction.

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Cafeteria manager works diligently to feed students

Before 9 a.m. on the first day of school, Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center Cafeteria Manager Dony Jules had moved quickly to pack more than 70 student meals.

It may seem like a lot of work, but it was a slow start for someone who is used to feeding students by the thousands.

Jules is one of the hundreds of Nutrition Services staff who helped prepare and distribute meals to families at community food distributions during the early months of COVID-19 pandemic.

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