Category Archives: Food Services

HISD Community Partnerships, HISD Police Department play key roles in food distribution

Feeding more than 10,000 families five days a week during a pandemic is no easy task. It’s an effort that requires the collaboration of multiple departments across the district to bring it all together.

In just over a month, HISD — working together with the Houston Food Bank — has distributed 2 million pounds of food to more than 60,000 families. That range spans from March 14 through April 18.

“I appreciate the spotlight we’ve received, but it’s not just us,” HISD Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins said, referencing the child nutrition department she leads. “We couldn’t have accomplished this without the help of Community Partnerships and HISD Police.”

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New food distribution sites identified for week of April 27

The Houston Independent School District will continue operating food distribution sites, with another 25 sites operating throughout the district during the week of April 27.

The food distribution efforts will continue utilizing Nutrition Services staff to pack food bags at the Hexser T. Holliday Food Services Support Facility and deliver the food to the distribution sites. Each site can distribute up to 500 bags — or 15,000 pounds of food — per day.

HISD, Houston Food Bank plan second mass food distribution at NRG on Saturday

As families arrive at sites, nutrition staff will minimize contact by filling out the required Emergency Food Assistance Program forms for families and placing food in their trunks. Participants who walk to the sites also must adhere to social distancing requirements.

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HISD, Houston Food Bank plan second large-scale community food distribution at NRG on Saturday

The Houston Independent School District is partnering with the Houston Food Bank to organize a second mass food distribution site on Saturday, April 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. at NRG Stadium.

Distribution will be held in the NRG yellow lot, and attendees must enter via the yellow lot main entrance off South Main Street. The site is expected to distribute 5,000 food packages — each weighing 80 to 100 pounds — in about three hours. That’s the equivalent of roughly half a million pounds of food.

HISD’s first mass community distribution site was held last Saturday and distributed more than 280,000 pounds of food to 4,256 cars and 450 families on foot.

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Wiggins to participate in COVID-19 K-12 webinar

HISD Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins will share her experiences regarding emergency community feeding during a webinar sponsored by food service publications.

Wiggins will participate in a panel discussion to explore how school districts are utilizing different methods to provide nutritious meals through the COVID-19 pandemic. The “K-12 Child Nutrition: Serving students and families during COVID-19” webinar will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 21.

The webinar is sponsored by the editorial teams of Nation’s Restaurant News, Restaurant Hospitality, and Food Management magazines. She will be joined by Minneapolis Public Schools Director of Culinary and Wellness Services Bertrand Weber and Londonderry School District Director of Dining Services Amanda Venezia.

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HISD, Houston Food Bank distribute over 280,000 pounds of food Saturday at NRG

When HISD Nutrition Services Senior Operations Manager Keith Lewis drove up to NRG Stadium Saturday for the massive food distribution effort, he wasn’t nervous. He was excited.

As he walked up to NRG Stadium’s yellow parking lot site and saw cars wrapped around the block, his excitement grew.

“I knew we had a team of Nutrition Services employees that were going to show up and rock it,” Lewis said. “It’s what we do every single day.”

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HISD food distributions a team effort to feed families in need

When Brenda Williams learned that the Houston Independent School District was closing due to COVID-19, her first thought was whether she would have enough food to feed her three grandchildren without school meals.

Williams previously received help from a local church, but that option became unavailable due to the pandemic. Now, Williams visits the district’s food distribution sites. The process, she said, is easy. She pulls up, pops her trunk, and the groceries are placed right inside.

“I appreciate what they’re doing, extending their hand to help,” Williams said, noting that staff are always helpful and the line moves fast. “It comes in handy during these times of need. Food on the table is better than no food on the table.”

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Food distribution site changed for April 16

As the Houston Independent School District continues its food distribution efforts throughout the district, there has been an update to one of Thursday’s distribution sites.

Hartsfield Elementary School, 5001 Perry St., will now host a food distribution site at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 16, replacing the site at Cullen Middle School, which has since been designated as a COVID-19 testing site for the city. All other sites for this week remain the same.

Although the site has changed, participants must still adhere to the same guidelines for food distribution. As families arrive at sites, nutrition staff will minimize contact by filling out the required Emergency Food Assistance Program forms for families and placing food in their trunks. Participants who walk to the sites also must adhere to social distancing requirements.

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New food distribution sites identified for week of April 13

The Houston Independent School District will continue food distribution efforts at 25 sites throughout the district during the week of Monday, April 13.

Nutrition Services staff are packing food bags at the Hexser T. Holliday Food Services Support Facility, which serves as the central hub for the initiative. Staff will then deliver the food to the distribution sites. Each site can distribute up to 500 bags — or 15,000 pounds of food — per day.

As families arrive at sites, nutrition staff will minimize contact by filling out the required Emergency Food Assistance Program forms for families and placing food in their trunks. Participants who walk to the sites also must adhere to social distancing requirements.

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Nutrition Services employees helping families fight hunger during pandemic

Dozens of cars were already lined up at McReynolds Middle School on Tuesday when Nutrition Assistant Shondrica Crenshaw arrived for her shift.

Clad in a face mask and gloves, she quickly joined her co-workers, assuming a spot six feet from them as she began placing bags of food in the trunk of each car that drove up.

“I’m more than excited to be out here,” Crenshaw said. “We’re all going through a lot right now. It’s a blessing to be able to give back.”

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Food distribution efforts reach nearly 40,000 families

In a matter of eight days, the food distribution sites operated by the Houston Independent School District in partnership with the Houston Food Bank assisted nearly 40,000 families.

The 61 food distributions served approximately 1 million pounds of food to families in need before being canceled late Wednesday. Nearly 2,000 staff and volunteers assisted with the efforts and were able to serve 5,000 families per day throughout HISD. 

The cancellation of the distribution sites will remain in effect as the district re-evaluates its process for safely delivering this service to students and families.  

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