Arlington

Arlington Charities offers free summer Read and Feed program

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There are 700,000 families who are considered food insecure, according to the United Way Metropolitan Dallas. Many of those children depend on school breakfast and lunch for nutrition, so when school is out, getting access to good food is even more of a hardship.

Arlington Charities is trying to do what they can to change that.

For those who are unable to leave their homes, they provide delivery services as well through a mobile market food truck.

“We are a nonprofit social service agency, and our primary mission is addressing food insecurity in the Arlington area,” program director Casey McCollum said. “We do that in a number of different ways. We have a daily drive-through pantry every single day from about 9 a.m. until noon and we serve about 140 households every day.”

“We send that truck out into the community into food deserts with fresh produce and meal and eggs on it. It’s neat,” McCollum said.

He said while that is a full-time job, there is so much more to Arlington Charities.

“We really value education here as well. Not just helping people with food but helping them beyond other needs that they might have. Part of that is education and we know that many of our families have children. That’s why we wanted to create this new program to help,” McCollum said.

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That program is pairing feeding with reading.

“The summer slide where all that knowledge from the kids just falls out their ears over the summer. We wanted to help the kids keep reading over the summer and we know that kids that begin reading sooner, do better in school. So, we wanted to help feel the gaps,” McCollum said.

Families who register for the Read and Feed program will get food and books for each age group as well as a bag of healthy snacks.

McCollum said Atmos Energy made a large donation to make all of this possible this summer. There are several other events happening this summer, but registration is required.

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