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.
When it comes to meeting the nutritional needs of HISD students, Nutrition Services’ work isn’t limited to the cafeteria. Their efforts go beyond the plate and all the way to the athletic field.
Nutrition Services Dietitian Nan Cramer and Chef Trainer Brittany Jones recently visited Delmar Stadium to serve up samples of green power smoothies — a tasty blend of apple, banana, soy milk, kale, no-nut butter, and vanilla extract — and to educate coaches, players, and parents on the impact of proper nutrition on athletes.
He eagerly sampled the smoothie and gave his approval.
Special Events Planner Nicole Bean has always been an organizer at heart, and that’s how she approaches scheduling and planning events in HISD’s catering department Houston Eats.
Bean is responsible for planning and overseeing events and creating the orders for them. Her attention to detail and ability to accommodate the needs of Houston Eats’ customers has proven to be an asset in her role.
“If you have 30 schools that want something all at the same time, it’s physically hard to be at all those places,” Bean said. “We only have so many delivery vans, so we have to be really creative in how we schedule. We also offer pickups. We really do try to accommodate everybody.”
Parents flooded the Lantrip Elementary School cafeteria Thursday as they joined their children — clad in pilgrim hats, white bonnets, and colorful turkey headbands — for a nutritious Thanksgiving lunch.
The annual celebration hosted by HISD’s Nutrition Services has attracted thousands of families to school cafeterias for more than 50 years. This year’s menu included roasted turkey with gravy, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, a fresh fruit medley, and ice cream.
“We get a ton of volunteers, but it takes everyone,” Lantrip Principal Magdalena Strickland said, noting that about half of the school’s 700 families participate in the Thanksgiving lunch each year. “When parents know you care for their kids, they’ll go above and beyond.”
HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan sat at a long white table in the Burnet Elementary School cafeteria on Monday, nibbling on a chicken biscuit and chatting with the students seated alongside her.
Gathered for breakfast on the first day of school, the conversation quickly turned into an impromptu Spanish lesson as students from the dual language school translated the menu — chicken biscuits, raisins, apple juice, and milk — into Spanish.
“Leche?” Lathan repeated carefully after hearing the Spanish word for milk. A wide smile then spread across her face. “You know what I like? Tres leches. And lot of it,” she said, laughing.
With more than 7,000 employees,
Business Operations is the largest division in HISD. But what exactly do we do?
Before students can ever file
into their classrooms, bus drivers and crossing guards must get them safely to
school. Cafeteria workers must make them a nutritious breakfast. Custodians,
police officers, and construction crews must make sure they have new, clean,
safe spaces in which to learn.
The breadth of our work touches
all facets of the district, and support is at the heart of everything we do. We
help lay the foundation for student success — most of the time behind the
Cheers echoed down the hall as Bruce Elementary School students and staff gathered Friday in Room 137 to surprise their beloved cafeteria staff with an ice cream bar and certificates of appreciation.
The party was
held in honor of School Lunch Hero Day, a nationwide celebration that honors
school nutrition professionals for the valuable work they do each day. The
annual celebration stems from author Jarrett Krosoczka’s Lunch Lady, a graphic
novel series featuring a crime-fighting Lunch Lady whose mission is to serve up
justice while serving up lunch.
A child research and advocacy organization has recognized Nutrition Services as a top five food delivery district in the state of Texas.
Children at Risk ranked HISD fourth among large school districts in the state based on its record of providing daily meals to children in need, especially its school breakfast program, which allows schools to serve students breakfast in their classroom before starting the school day.
The organization measured the participation rate of school nutrition programs across districts based on data provided by the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Education Agency.
school faculty will soon have the opportunity to show their appreciation to
cafeteria staff during School Lunch Hero Day.
On May 3,
Nutrition Services will celebrate School Lunch Hero Day, a nationwide
celebration that honors school nutrition professionals for the valuable work
they do each day. The observance will allow students and school staff to
celebrate their campus’ cafeteria team.
HISD Nutrition Services Food Literacy Manager Julia Jarrell has been selected as one of the 2019 Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Recognized Young Dietitians of the Year.
Jarrell was nominated and selected for her progressive work in teaching HISD students how to lead healthy and productive lives through good nutrition.
“I love the opportunity to promote health within the Houston community” Jarrell said. “To be recognized and honored for doing things I am deeply proud of makes me feel elated and privileged to be part of such a wonderful profession.”