What does hunger look like in Texas? In Texas 4.2 million people are struggling with hunger. More than 1.6 million of those are children. According to Feeding America, many of us do not realize the grave disparities that exist in our own communities. People struggle with hunger in every county and congressional district in Texas. They are our neighbors and we do not know they are hungry or food insecure.
The USDA defines food insecurity as a state in which “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.” Food insecurity is a household situation not an individual situation.
This summer, three schools are providing children 18 years old and younger with healthy Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), meals at no cost to the child. SFSP is a U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition program administered in the Lone Star State by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), for children who rely on school meals during the academic year. These meals offer a source of good nutrition when school is out for the summer vacation.
The Pleasanton ISD’s program is free for those 18 and younger, adults may eat with their children for a charge of $2 per breakfast meal and $3.50 per lunch meal. The program began June 4 and will end June 28. It is held at the Junior High Campus Cafeteria, with breakfast from 7:30 a.m.- 8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact 830-569- 1367.
Poteet ISD meals will be served June 5-27, at Poteet Junior High School, 1000 FM 1470, Mon, –Fri. Breakfast is 7:15 – 8 a.m. and lunch is 12 – 12:30 p.m. Meals will also be served June 5-27 at the Poteet Elementary Cafeteria, 1100 School Drive in Poteet, Monday – Thursday. Breakfast is 7:30 a.m. – 8 a.m. and lunch at 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Those with questions may contact Fernando Mendez at 830- 742-3567, ext. 1827.
At Charlotte ISD, meals will be provided starting on June 3-July 15. Breakfast will be from 7:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Meals will be provided at the High School Cafeteria, located at 41 Rose Blvd. in Charlotte. All children ages 18 and younger are eligible to participate. Those with any questions may contact Debbie Luna at 830-277- 1712.
Other local sources to help with food insecurity situations are also available. Tuesday, the San Antonio Food Bank parked outside the Pleasanton Methodist Church, 420 North Main Street and were handing out fresh produce such as pineapple, carrots, watermelons and oranges. All that was required was that you brought a paper bag to take the produce home. They will be visiting here monthly. Please call the Methodist Church at 830- 569-2083 for more details. Also, watch the Pleasanton Express Facebook page for reminders for their next free produce give away.
San Miguel donated a $7500 check to the Atascosa County Veterans Food Bank Friday to help keep their pantries stocked. For veterans serving or not, the Atascosa County Veteran’s Food Bank provides canned goods and staples. For more information on how to access the food bank, please call 830- 200-1419. You can also visit their Facebook page Atascosa County Veterans Food Bank and send them a message.
The term food insecurity is new to me but one that is easily understood. I will be watching for opportunities to tell this story further in the Pleasanton Express as well as do my part to help. If you know of food assistance programs or needs locally, please do not hesitate to email me.
NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES is the Publisher/Managing Editor of the Pleasanton Express. You may E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.