Community Advocates Raise Awareness Of Summer Food Program
Community advocates will hold a press conference to raise awareness about the HISD Summer Food Program today at 10 a.m. on the steps of Houston City Hall, 900 Bagby.
In Harris County, with close to 25 percent of children under 18 living below the poverty line, hunger is a reality for many children.
During the school year, the National School Lunch Program reaches over two-thirds of eligible Harris County students, and the School Breakfast Program reaches one-third of eligible students. However, during the summer months, participation in the food program decreases by nearly 64 percent.
To help combat hunger, Texas is launching the “Summer Meals Mayor’s Challenge.” The challenge charges mayors with increasing participation in the Summer Food Program.
Only 8.2 percent of the state’s 2,213,000 children receiving free or reduced-price lunch took part in the summer meals program in 2007, according to the Food Research and Action Center’s July 2009 Summer Nutrition Status report.
Texas is ranked 47th in the Summer Food Program participation. The number of summer food sites in Harris County has increased from 385 in 2008 to 430 in 2009.