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
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.
As the school year wraps up, the Houston Independent School District is revving up its nutrition outreach efforts with the launch of curbside summer meals for students and the Fresh Bus produce delivery program.
The programs come on the heels of the district’s successful community food distribution initiative, which ran for nine weeks following HISD’s closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coordinated by HISD in partnership with the Houston Food Bank, the program, provided nearly 7 million pounds of food to more than 160,000 families during that time.
“When everything around us was shutting down due to the pandemic, it became essential for us to be there for our students and their families,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “I’m proud of the hard work and dedication that went into this effort. Remarkably, we were able to impact so many families.”
The district is aiming to build upon that success with the launch if it’s annual and state-mandated summer meals program, which begins June 1. Families will be able to pick up packaged student meals twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays at one of 71 designated schools across the district. Families will receive several days’ worth of food per child.
HISD Meal Programs At a Glance
HISD Curbside Summer Meals
Begins June 1
Pick up on Mondays and Thursdays at 71 schools
Meals are free to ages 1-18
Proof of enrollment or birth certificate required for children not in the vehicle
The HISD Summer Meals Program came to an end for the 2015 season on Friday, July 17, but families can still obtain free meals for kids through the City of Houston’s Parks and Recreation Department. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District is serving free breakfasts and lunches to children ages 1-18 at more than 200 schools this summer.
Children do not need to be enrolled in summer school to participate in the program, and no paperwork, registration or proof of income is required. Adults may purchase breakfast for $2 and lunch for $3.25.