Education

Summer Meals Program Provides Food for North Texans 18 and Younger

North Texas school districts are providing meals during the summer through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Meals program

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School is not just a place to learn. For many students, it's also a place to get a nutritious meal.

"Just because school is out doesn't mean hunger takes a break," said Michael Rosenberger, the executive director of Dallas ISD Food and Child Nutrition Services.

Dallas ISD is among the school districts providing breakfast and lunch to anyone 18 years old and younger -- not just students -- through a Summer Meals partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Agriculture.

"We all thought we got over the hump of COVID, and we kind of got to a level spot," Rosenberger said. "Now, all of a sudden, in the face of rampant inflation, there are fewer and fewer dollars left for the food bill."

An estimated 25% of children 18 years old and younger have experienced food insecurity in the past year in Dallas.

"So, these Summer Meal programs are an essential lifeline for young people to have access to the healthiest meals," Rosenberger said.

Rosenberger said the free meals are lean protein and whole grains with lots of fruits and vegetables.

"The immediate benefit is those scarce dollars in times of high inflation that would otherwise go to food now don't have to," Rosenberger said. "So they can go to pay the water bill. They can go to pay the high electricity costs during the summer. They can go to put gas in the car. So we see tangible benefits economically."

To find a Summer Meals location within the Dallas ISD, click here. To find other Summer Meals programs near you, the Texas Department of Agriculture has a locator tool here.

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