East Texas Food Bank begins Free Summer Food Program

The East Texas Food Bank kicks off the free Summer Food Program for children on Tuesday, June 4, at 42 East Texas locations.

“It’s so important to make sure children do not go hungry in the summer just because school is out,” said David Emerson, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. “Here in East Texas, 1 in 4 children are food insecure so it’s up to our community to make sure we fill that meal gap when the school year ends and kids lose access to free and reduced-price meals they depend on.”

In Tyler, the Summer Food Program will kick-off at the Glass Recreation Center at 501 W. 32nd street with a special celebration of free activities and a free meal from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Activities include face painting, games, a petting zoo, Tyler fire and police department, Andy the Ambulance, games and free Kona Ice.

In 2023, the East Texas Food Bank served 42,000 meals to over 1,700 children throughout East Texas. This summer, ETFB will serve 64,000 meals to over 3,000 children.

Meals are provided at various community sites Monday-Friday. There is no need to register. The program is for children 18 and younger. Some locations offer breakfast and lunch but all offer lunch. Kids eat the meal at the location. Typical breakfast menus are cereal or breakfast bars, plus juice and milk, while lunch includes wraps, wedges, sandwiches with deli meat, pizza lunchables, fresh fruit and chocolate milk.

Besides the meal, some of the locations at parks, churches and libraries offer other free activities for children. Check with the Summer Food Program you plan to visit for more information.

ETFB also provides food at various campuses for kids enrolled in summer school but these are not open to the public.

For the full list of locations and serving times visit EastTexasFoodBank.org/SummerFood or by calling 903-597-3663.