East Texas Food Bank begins Summer Food Program, modifications due to COVID-19

In order to meet the increased demand for food assistance over the summer, the East Texas Food Bank’s Summer Food Program will operate at 24 East Texas community locations starting June 1. The program was started in 2005 and provides free breakfast and lunch meals for children under 18.

The program works to fill the meal gap left when the school year ends and children lose access to free and reduced-price meal programs they depend on for nourishment. Last year, the program served 22,600 meals to children.

To participate, families just need to show up. There is no need to register and no proof of age or income is required. Due to continued COVID-19 precautions, parents or guardians may also pick up meals without their children to eat off-site if they provide proof of school enrollment (report card, enrollment form or a note from school).

“The East Texas Food Bank’s Summer Food Program is one of the most important child hunger programs in our community, especially as we are still seeing an increased need for assistance due to the pandemic,” said East Texas Food Bank CEO Dennis Cullinane. “This is our seventeenth year in the program and we receive so many positive remarks from parents about how important this program is for their children.”

The full list of sites, meals offered and service times can be found at EastTexasFoodBank.org/SummerFood. Locations are in Tyler, Whitehouse, Lindale, Mt. Pleasant, Gilmer, Hawkins, Longview, Kilgore, Marshall, Waskom, Jacksonville, Rusk, Mineola, Hawkins and Wills Point.