Summer meals provided for local children
Just twelve out of 100 low-income children in Texas who need summer meals receive them. On an average summer day in 2014, 273,655 low-income Texas children received summer meals, a decrease of two percent from the previous summer.
“It’s troubling to see participation fall when most other states are celebrating increases,” said Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas. “T
exas needs to seek alternative ways to feed our children when school lets out, and take advantage of federal flexibility where it is available.”
The report, Hunger Doesn’t Take A Vacation, is an annual analysis of data by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). It measures the success of federal Summer Nutrition Programs at the national and state levels by comparing the number of children receiving summer meals to the number of children receiving free or reduced-price school lunches during the regular school year. By this measure, twelve low-income children in Texas ate summer meals for every 100 who ate school lunch during the regular school year. Nationally, the ratio was 16:100, an increase from the previous year.
Low participation means missed meals for children and missed dollars for the state. If Texas had reached forty children with summer food for every 100 low-income children who get school lunch during the regular school year, it would have received an additional $51,175,960 in federal reimbursements, more than any other state.
The report noted an annual increase in meals served in June but a decrease in July and August. This suggests that Texas schools are increasing the number of children fed during summer school, but the nonprofit community is unable to match these efforts when summer school ends.
Many of Lockhart’s children face the same plight. Throughout the school year, teachers make anecdotal reports of hearing stories of children who eat breakfast and lunch at school, and then go home to wonder if their parents will be able to provide supper that night.
In too many cases, families simply can’t feed their own.
In an effort to offset that harsh truth, and make sure our children are still fed during the summer months, the Lockhart ISD, in connection with the Texas Department of Agriculture and volunteers citywide, will provide summer meal programs at several locations throughout the community.
Beginning on June 8, children up to 18 years of age are welcome to visit one of several locations breakfast or lunch – or if necessary, both.
From June 6 – July 15, breakfast will be served Monday – Thursday at the Lockhart High School Freshman Campus from 8 – 9 a.m., and lunch will follow from 11 a.m. – noon.
Plum Creek Elementary School’s doors will be open from June 6 – June 24, and again from July 25 – Aug. 5, Monday – Friday, serving breakfast from 7:30 – 9 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Bluebonnet Elementary will provide meal service from June 27 – July 1 and July –22, Monday – Friday. Breakfast is served from 7:30 – 9 a.m. and lunch, from 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
The Dr. Eugene Clark Library complex will serve lunch from 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Monday – Friday from June 6 – Aug. 5.
All sites will be closed the week of July 4 – 8.
During July, the Silent Valley Mobile Home Park, Southpark Village and the Caldwell County Christian Ministries Food Bank will serve lunches from noon – 1 p.m., starting July 11 until Aug. 5.
Meals will be provided to all youngsters, from 0 – 18 years, free of charge during these feeding times.