Cy-Fair community offers various summer food programs
Children are out for the summer, but the Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District (CFISD) is providing meals for students who rely on school meals during the academic year.
Through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) meals are offered at no charge to children 18 years and younger.
“The child nutrition department in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD is excited to once again offer meals at no charge to our community this summer,” said Darin Crawford, CFISD food service director. “Meals will be offered at over 20 campuses this summer. Meals will be available on Monday through Thursday as all campuses and district buildings are closed on Fridays.”
Summer Food Service Program is a U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition program administered in the Lone Star State by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). All sites are open at various CFISD elementary, middle and high schools.
“The Cy-Fair Child Nutrition Department is happy to be able to provide meals at no charge during the summer,” Crawford said. “Many children in our community are food insecure and offering summer meals helps these children get the nutrients they need.”
The Texas Department of Agriculture’s website also provides a summer feeding interactive map as well as an online form for parents to fill out to find meals in their area.
No Kid Hungry, an organization which aims to end child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need every day, reports that 13 million kids in the United States struggle with hunger. The organization also reports that one in six kids in America doesn’t get the food they need every day. The lack of food for children takes a toll on their health and development, and threatens their futures. No Kids Hungry also believes that childhood hunger in America drags down the nation’s economy by perpetuating the cycle of poverty.
Cypress Assistance Ministries (CAM), a faith-based organization that serves individuals and families dealing with financial crisis, homelessness, unemployment and elderly in need, offer a pantry of food for community members as well.
“The food pantry is open year round, and we work to increase the amount of snack types of foods in the summer with items such as Ramen, pudding cups, and goldfish packs to help with having the kids home in addition to making sure the family has plenty of nutritional foods,” said Janet Knott, CAM director of development.
The not-for-profit organization offers families opportunities to receive food from its pantry. Families must see a case manager; then they are allowed to shop in the pantry.
“We use the Client Shop method where each family is assigned points to use in the food pantry, with the number of points determined by the size of their family,” Knott said. “That way parents can choose the items their family will actually eat and enjoy, and nothing goes to waste.”
The ministry holds a back-to-school program every July. The program provides children with school supplies and clothing vouchers from its retail store.
CAM also offers assistance through its client services such as rent or mortgage, utilities, clothing, household goods/furniture, special delivery, operation jobs and GED/ESL classes.
“We also provide toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste and toothbrushes, body soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, and paper towels,” Knott said. “These items cannot be purchased with food stamps so there is always a great demand for them.”