Houston Food Bank Seeks Community Partners to Tackle Child Hunger with Summer Meal Program
Photo: Houston Food Bank

Houston Food Bank Seeks Community Partners to Tackle Child Hunger with Summer Meal Program

April 24 2024

In a bid to combat child hunger during the summer months, the Houston Food Bank has announced its search for community partners to support its Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The initiative seeks to provide young people aged 18 and under, or enrolled students with disabilities up to 21, with healthy no-cost meals during the summer when school meals are not available.

Administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the SFSP aims to ensure children receive the nourishment they require during the summer period. The aim is to help them return to school in the fall ready to learn and grow.

The Houston Food Bank is seeking partnerships with both large and small community organizations to help distribute more than 12,000 meals per day across over 250 community sites. The food bank hopes to run the SFSP from June 10 to August 9, 2024, and is offering breakfast, lunch, and snack options.

Established in 1982, the Houston Food Bank has a deep-rooted history within the community. Its mission is to provide food for better lives, and it currently delivers 120 million nutritious meals across 18 counties through its vast network of around 1,600 community partners. The organization prioritizes healthy food options and advocates for policy change, racial equity, and dialogue around increasing food access and improving community lives.

A child receiving a free meal through the Houston Food Banks SFSP program. (Source: Houston Food Bank)

The SFSP also gives organizations the opportunity to assist families impacted by Texas's decision not to participate in a $2.5 billion federal nutrition program this year. This decision means qualifying families will not receive $120 per child for the three summer months.

To qualify as a partner for the Summer Feeding Program, organizations must be non-profits, committed to hosting at least 15 children daily, not be under existing sponsorships for summer meals, serve only children under 18, and ensure meals are consumed on-site. Open sites should also welcome additional children to take a meal.

Non-traditional sites like apartment complexes, places of worship and local businesses are eligible too, with specific requirements like program location on the first floor and coordination with the Houston Food Bank. Deadlines for applying are April 30 for June service, May 31 for July, and the final deadline on July 19.

This drive to partner with community groups is another step forward in the Houston Food Bank's commitment to alleviating hunger in the Greater Houston Area. For those interested in becoming a distribution site, apply via the Kids Cafe on the Houston Food Bank's website.

By Tiffany Krenek, My Neighborhood News 
Tiffany Krenek, authorTiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.

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