Students may go on summer break but NISD food services work to ensure area youth are fed
May 9, 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
District Contact: Rayanne Schmid, communications coordinator
936-569-5000, ext. 8845 (office) or 936-585-1518 (Cell)
NACOGDOCHES —Summer time means most Nacogdoches classrooms are empty, but the NISD school kitchens know they can’t stop working.
The t-shirts they wear clearly state the reason for their mission, “Because hunger doesn’t take a summer break.”
For 20 years, district student nutrition department has worked each weekday — through the hottest months — to ensure more than 1,400 students receive balanced meals.
Recently the Texas Department of Agriculture commissioner Todd Staples honored NISD Student Nutrition’s summer feeding program for its distinguished performance, for 20 years of longevity and for maintaining the best practices in program management and outreach.
Through the TDA and the United States Department of Agriculture, the NISD program feeds children ages 1 to 18 at 28 sites across Nacogdoches.
They include three schools, parks, apartment complexes and mobile home parks. “We have even had people offer us their yards to serve meals to the children — and all but one offers a covered patio,” said NISD Student Nutrition Director Robin Thacker.
While the children are gathered at the sites, other local organizations are finding ways to keep away the summer doldrums. The Nacogdoches Rotary Club plans to bring a summer literacy program to the sites. Other groups offering activities include Love Inc. and the Solid Foundation.
“It may be hard to believe, but in Texas we have a hunger problem,” Thacker said. “We have a lot of kids who are going hungry. With this program, we can serve more than 1,400 meals a day to make sure our kids eat.”
The program kicks off on June 10 at the Boys and Girls Club, Brooks-Quinn-Jones Elementary School and Nacogdoches High School. The other 21 regular sites will open on June 17 and include Pioneer, Pecan, Festival and Ritchie parks; Oakhill Plaza; Sandia Mobile Home Park; and Nacogdoches Bible Fellowship Church.
Another six sites based out of local churches are open for one week during a scheduled vacation bible school.
There are no stipulations on who eats the free summer meals. “This program feeds any child 1-18 years old,” Thacker said.
For more information, call the Student Nutrition office at 569-3125.