Waco, TX - During the 83rd Texas Legislative Session Representatives Richard Peña Raymond (TX-42) and Carol Alvarado (TX- 145) coauthored House Bill 749. House Bill 749 calls for a plan to increase outcomes in the summer food service program for Texas youth that qualify for free and/or reduced lunch. In Texas, 2.4 million children qualify for free and/or reduced lunch programs yet during the summer months many kids go hungry since only 11% participate in the Summer Meals program. There’s a huge opportunity to work with decision makers like Representatives Raymond and Alvarado and other community partners to examine innovative ways that make sure that all children are eating during the summer months.
This summer, the YMCA of Central Texas in Waco has connected with CitySquare and the Waco ISD to provide summer meals at the YMCA’s Waco Family and Doris Miller branches. CitySquare is a Dallas based nonprofit that has served 9,600 free summer meals daily to kids in in Dallas, Houston and Austin. In the coming weeks, CitySquare will expand its outreach to the Waco community. The Y is working to tie our advocacy efforts into community action as we embark on new partnerships that help to end childhood hunger and promote healthy living in the communities that we serve. Through the partnership with CitySquare, the YMCA of Central Texas will provide a nutritionally complete summer meal built around fun enrichment and educational activities.
Research indicates that children who participate in school lunch/ summer meal program diets are rich in nutrients as opposed to their counterparts who do not participate. The YMCA’s summer food program will help children stay well-nourished, active and energized all summer long, as well as provide some important relief to family food budgets. At the Y we support programs that are designed to help meet the needs of children outside of school hours who might otherwise be at risk of going hungry. More than 300 Ys nationwide will offer summer food programs and aim to serve 5 million healthy meals and snacks to 100,000 kids.