AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — School is out for the summer, which means many local kids need nutritious meals during the break.
That is where local school districts, non-profit organizations, and the City of Amarillo come in to help keep kids happy and fed over the summer.
“We partner with the High Plains Food Bank, and we serve about 307 kids here every single day. We provide a breakfast, snack, and hot meal before they go home,” Maverick Boys & Girls Club of Amarillo CEO and Executive Director, Donna Soria, said. “We also partner with Snack Pak 4 Kids and all of our kids get a snack pack before they go home on the weekends.”
The City of Amarillo said Amarillo ISD received a USDA Summer Lunch Program grant as a result of changes implemented last summer due to covid.
AISD is providing grab-and-go breakfast and lunches to kids ages one through 18. The district said this includes children under 5 who are not enrolled in AISD. Parents who pick up meals and don’t have their child with them will need to provide proof of their child’s age. They receive two meals each time: lunch for that day and breakfast for the following day. Meals are generally distributed via the back cafeteria door of a campus near the loading dock. Parents just have to knock on that door and someone will assist them.
“That’s our number one priority is making sure that the kids are taken care of and making sure they’re fed throughout this time,” AISD Child Nutrition Director, Martin Diaz, said. “But we’re looking forward to hopefully getting things back to normal.”
Once kids grab those meals, the City of Amarillo’s Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is hosting afternoon camps.
“We’re calling it Amarillo afternoon adventures. We’re doing it in four different park locations, mostly where we saw the most community need for kiddos in the afternoon,” COA PARD Coordinator of PR & Programs Kristen Wolbach said. “It gives kids a free opportunity to get outside instead of being stuck at home all day, and just gives them a safe place to play.”
Canyon ISD is offering free breakfast and lunch for all kids under 18 through July second.
Soria said keeping kids fed is something the Amarillo community works together to do.
“I don’t think there’s any place like Amarillo, just to see the camaraderie among all the people that are providing a service,” she said.