SAN ANGELO, Texas — For 10 years, the San Angelo Independent School District, along with the Texas Hunger Initiative, has been serving the Concho Valley to ensure each student and their families have lunch.
They continue the initiative to this day. Summer is the time for students to get away from the responsibility of school, but for some students, school could have been the only place they could eat lunch. Since summer school is not happening the SAISD, and the Texas Hunger Initiative are providing free lunches to students and families.
Texas Hunger Initiative Regional Director Mary Herbert said they have expanded to nine locations, and are adapting as they continue to serve the community.
"We are serving a curbside style this year for the first time we've ever done that," Herbert said. "We normally have people come in and eat in the dining room, and we provide activities for them to do and fun things but because of COVID this year, we are having to adjust."
Herbert and her team have made many adjustments because of COVID-19. She has seen an uptick in the number of students and families who now use the free lunch as their only source of food.
"We are serving more people now this summer than we have in summers before," Herbert said. "So we do feel like this year, probably more than maybe any other year that we've ever had." Herbert said.
One of the reasons she has seen an increase is because parents were possibly laid off, which might have been the only source of income for the student.
Herbert said they have plenty of food for everyone, and everyone will get a meal just as long as the student is present. They will not serve someone who says they have six children, and not one of them is present.
Herbert thanks the community for all the help during these rough times when it comes to assisting families.
"We are grateful to the community for supporting kids eat free through donations and through their service time," Herbert said.
The new locations for the lunch program are:
Immanuel Baptist Church 90 East 14th St.
Lee Middle School 2500 Sherwood Way
Cross Pointe Fellowship 4210 Coliseum Drive
Neighbor's Cafe 413 E. Ave.
Calvary Baptist Church 2401 Armstrong
Belmore Baptist Church 1214 S. Bell St.
Nueva Vista Apartments Community Room 2401 N. Lillie St.
Alta Loma Elementary School 14 Garfield
For more information, call 2-1-1 or visit www.texashunger.org