Schools in East Texas are looking a lot different for students and parents in East Texas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Difficult decisions are being made about whether to send children to school or keep them at home, learning from a distance. And, of course, we all have questions about what the future holds.
In East Texas today, 1 in 3 children are facing hunger. This includes children who depend on free or reduced meals they would normally be receiving in school. This puts even more pressure on the parents of these children as they question “who is going to feed them during the upcoming months?”
The good news is that the East Texas Food Bank, our partner agencies and Feeding America are working hard preparing to ensure children have the food they need as they return to school, whether that be on campus or virtually.
Here is how we are helping this school year:
- BackPack Program – The East Texas Food Bank partners with school throughout our 26 county service area to provide food for children who are at risk of going hungry on weekends and holidays. Our plan is to support 148 school sites with food that children that are enrolled in the BackPack Program can take home for the weekend. We anticipate serving 6,600 children this year. Click here to read more about this program.
- Kids Café & Afterschool Snack Program – This program provides free meals and snacks to low-income children through a variety of existing community locations where children gather such as Boys & Girls Clubs, churches or public schools. Our plan is to support 23 sites with snacks and meals for children. Click here to read more about this program.
- Curbside Distributions – When schools closed earlier this year, the East Texas Food Bank was able to partner with school campuses to distribute nutritious food to families as they picked up school work and campus meals. Should schools close again, we will be able to help in this capacity once more.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we are continuing to help the children, families and seniors who desperately need our help during this crisis. But we can’t do it without our gratuitous donors and volunteers. You can help support our mission of “fighting hunger and feeding hope” by giving a gift today to the East Texas Food Bank or finding out how to volunteer with us.