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.
Cullen Middle School students made the holiday season a little brighter on Thursday for their community during the campus’ school market, where 150 families were provided with more than 2,000 pounds of free groceries.
The School Market, which is a bi-weekly food distribution run entirely by student volunteers, provides food assistance to community members, as well as families of students from Cullen and nearby Foster, Lockhart and Peck elementary schools. The provisions are especially beneficial to parents in need during the holidays.
“Here at our school a large percentage of our families live at or below the poverty line,” said Cullen Wraparound Specialist Nora Lemon, who oversees the entire operation. “This market provides the flexibility and sustainability they need to ensure their students are fed and eating healthy meals at home.”
HISD has several transitional programs for students with cognitive disabilities that train them to find meaningful work and sustainable life situations after graduation. After two years in the H.E.A.R.T. program at the Houston Food Bank, Trevor has been hired as a full-time worker. Trevor is doing everything regular employees do—chopping vegetables, cutting bread, packaging meals, and washing trays and utensil. Trevor’s mother is thrilled.
Watch the video to find out what Trevor is planning to do with his first paycheck.
With the beginning of a new school year, there are new classes underway in HISD’s transitional programs for students with cognitive disabilities that train them to find meaningful work and sustainable life situations after graduation.
HISD students participate in classes within the community at the Houston Food Bank (HISD/H.E.A.R.T.), Houston Community College, and Texas Children’s Health Plan (Project SEARCH).
In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we revisited the Houston Food Bank to see how students are doing (see last year’s story here). The second-year pilot program is underway, with four students returning from last year to experience real-world employment, working 40 hours a week from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. They are responsible for finding their own rides to work, and they use METROlift or get rides from family members. Continue reading →
A group of teachers new to HISD for 2017-2018 school year kicked off their introduction to the district on a very positive note Monday by volunteering at the Houston Food Bank.
The new teachers, a few from as far away as Spain, joined an assembly line process to sort and pack food supplies for the HISD families and many surrounding counties.
“The children deserve all of our efforts and all of our hours together to put together the food they need to have the nutrition that they need to learn,” said Idrisa Abdul-Hamid, HISD senior manager for Onboarding.
HISD has several programs to help young adults with significant disabilities transition successfully from high school to a productive adult life. In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Monthin October, we will be featuring three of these programs. This is the first in the series. Read the second in the series, about students thriving in an office environment, here.
Gracie, 19, is an outgoing Sharpstown International High School student. She gets up early, dresses in a purple or grey HISD polo shirt and khaki pants, and catches the school bus to the Houston Food Bank. She has a job to do.
Gracie is one of 17 HISD students with developmental disabilities working as interns at the Houston Food Bank through a partnership with H.E.A.R.T (Housing, Entrepreneurship, and Readiness Training). The students, ages 18-22, officially will graduate once their internships are complete.
Sharpstown High School students, as well as volunteers from Morgan Stanley, Memorial Hermann, and Volunteer Houston, made the holiday season a little brighter for their community at last weekend’s Apollo market. Approximately 200 families were provided with more than 6,000 pounds of groceries.
The Apollo Market is a weekly food distribution run entirely by student volunteers, but the December 12 market included a special holiday fair for the community, which included:
* fresh groceries, including a turkey
* a recipe demonstration by the Sharpstown High School HealthCorps Cooking Club
* free blood-pressure screenings from Memorial Hermann Southwest staff
* the opportunity to learn more about the onsite Memorial Hermann school clinic
* a nutrition demonstration by Houston Food Bank staff
“This was such a great event to support the local community.” said Sharpstown community member Kim Benson. “I was impressed by the students, who were helpful and sweet. It really puts you in the holiday spirit.”
HISD Nutrition Services and the Houston Food Bank have been working together since 2014 to deliver extra food to needy students through the latter’s “Backpack Buddy” program. Its goal is to fill the food gap that exists at certain students’ homes over the weekends. Last year, about 89 schools participated. This year, that number has increased to 101, making this partnership a lifeline for disadvantaged HISD students.
“It’s really sad,” said HISD Dietitian Nan Cramer. “We have children who come in Monday morning starving because their last meal was the previous Friday afternoon in school.”
The district recently received its first 25 pallets of food for distribution. And last Friday, students at participating campuses were discreetly issued their food sacks, so that they could enjoy healthy, nourishing meals even after school hours. Continue reading →
Lantrip families benefit from Houston Food Bank, Texas Children’s Hospital, UT School of Public Health
Lantrip Elementary will have a long line outside their building Wednesday, full of students waiting to collect their fruit and vegetables. Yes, fruit and vegetables. A collaborative effort between the Houston Food Bank, Texas Children’s Hospital, and the University of Texas School of Public Health is providing students at several HISD schools access to fresh produce throughout the school year.