Category Archives: Nutrition Services

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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Nutrition Services launches Neighborhood Supersites to feed community

Facing hundreds of cars in a line that stretched down the street and around the block, it would have been easy for Nutrition Services staff to feel overwhelmed at their first neighborhood supersite in southeast Houston.

But for a department known for its dedication to keeping families fed and well-nourished, it was all in a day’s work on Wednesday — the launch of weekly community food distributions.

Hosted through a partnership with the Houston Food Bank, the supersites provide a place where Houstonians can go each week to pick up 32-pound family food packages and a week’s worth of student meals.

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HISD transitioning to twice-weekly curbside meal pickup, launching weekly community food distributions

As the district prepares to resume in-person learning this month, Nutrition Services is transitioning from daily to twice-weekly curbside pickup for student meals and launching two Neighborhood Supersites as part of a weekly community food distribution initiative.

The move to twice-weekly campus-based curbside pickup begins Monday, Oct. 12 thanks to a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It allows families to pick up several days’ worth of meals at each pickup — three on Mondays and four on Thursdays.

Neighborhood Supersites are designed to provide standing times and locations where the community can pick up 32 pounds of groceries — including produce, dairy, and meat — for their families, as well as a week’s worth of student meals.

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HISD chef selected to lead Texas AgriLife food videos

Nutrition Services Chef Trainer Brittany Jones is used to teaching others how to prepare tasty, nutritious meals. Now she’ll get to share her expertise with others around the state thanks to a virtual learning seminar.

Jones recently visited Texas A&M University where she filmed culinary demonstrations to be included in virtual lessons for the Learn, Grow, Eat, and Go program offered by Texas AgriLife Extension’s Junior Master Gardener program.

Learn, Grow, Eat, and Go curriculum is used in select HISD elementary science classes to teach students about gardening, nutrition, and physical activity to promote long-term health. Nutrition Services hopes to share the new virtual lessons, which complement the in-person curriculum, all HISD elementary teachers via science curriculum coordinators.

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With cafeterias closed, Nutrition Services finds innovative ways to feed students

A group of Windswept Gardens Apartments residents made their way through the complex’s tree-lined central courtyard, which sits just a few hundred yards from the speeding cars and unending traffic of the Southwest Freeway.

Clad in face masks and carefully keeping their distance from each other, the families gathered around a blue tent where HISD’s Nutrition Services staff were handing out student summer meals in the afternoon sun.

The district has long offered a free summer meal program for students throughout the greater Houston community. In previous years, children would come to local schools to eat. But the COVID-19 pandemic changed the game, prompting Nutrition Services to look for innovative and safe ways to feed kids without a cafeteria.

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Nutrition Services providing big help to families in need

As the afternoon sun bore down on NRG Park, HISD Nutrition Services staff stood under the shade of tents with misting fans and bottled water.

With the clock moving closer to 2 p.m., they busily prepared for the thousands of people queueing up in lines that snaked through the parking lot — all waiting for food.

Coordinated by Nutrition Services in partnership with the Houston Food Bank, the mass community food distribution was the first of three planned for this month at NRG.

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HISD, Houston Food Bank hosts community food distributions on Fridays in August at NRG

The Houston Independent School District, in partnership with the Houston Food Bank, is hosting mass community food distributions on in August at NRG Stadium.

Nutrition Services staff are expected to distribute 5,000 food packages as well as 5,000 packages of student meals. The family food packages will have up to 60 pounds of food, while each student meals package will contain a week’s worth of breakfast and lunch meals.

Distribution is open from 2 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 14, Aug. 21, and Aug. 28 in the NRG yellow lot. Attendees must enter via the yellow lot main entrance off South Main Street. During the final distribution — on Aug. 28 only — families also will receive school supplies donated by T-Mobile, Reliant, and Kroger.

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Nutrition Services recognized for community outreach, focus on healthy eating

Nutrition Services received top honors for its school-based initiatives and ongoing community outreach in Food Management magazine’s 2020 Best Concept awards competition.

The department was named Editor’s Choice Best Concept Awards Best of Show for their efforts to feed families during the COVID-19 pandemic, expand salad bars to all campuses, and launch a food literacy program to help students understand the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

The magazine also highlighted the department’s Good Food campaign, which calls for all students to have access to nutritious food that is flavorful, colorful, wholesome, and locally sourced, and recognized the team for successfully converting from third-party management to self-operating status.

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Student meals to be delivered directly to three apartment complexes in Wheatley HS feeder pattern

Beginning Monday, the Houston Independent School District will deliver a weeks’ worth of student meals directly to three apartment complexes with large concentrations of students in the Wheatley High School feeder pattern.

Offered through Nutrition Services Houston Eats catering service, the delivery service will be provided through August as a complement to the district’s curbside summer meals program.

The program is open to students who are between the ages 1 to 18 and live in the apartment complexes where the food is being delivered. Participants do not have to be enrolled in HISD schools.

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HISD to open 12 Curbside Summer Meals distribution sites on Monday

Seven sites to provide food for students and families in partnership with Houston Food Bank

When the Houston Independent School District reopens its curbside summer meals program on Monday, July 20, it will do so with 12 sites strategically located throughout the city.

Seven of those locations will be operated in partnership with the Houston Food Bank, allowing families to pick up several days’ worth of student meals as well as packages of produce — and other food items when available — for families.

HISD Nutrition Services previously operated several dozen smaller sites but streamlined operations to maximize resources in areas with the most need and reduce staff needed on site as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the city.

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