Vending Machines Providing Students with Free Meals

Posted: Updated: Aug 01, 2016 05:37 PM

WESLACO – Parents in need of meals for their children have another option in the Rio Grande Valley. 

The new option for students to get free meals is vending machines. They can get breakfast and lunch. 

This is a partnership with Texas Hunger Initiative, Share Our Strength and the Valley Nature Center in Weslaco. 

THI Childhood Hunger Outreach Specialist Debra Franco explained the vending machines can feed up to 140 children a day.

She said it is a pilot program to showcase childhood hunger in the Valley.

“The idea is to gather information to take back to Washington D.C. and to the law makers to see if this is something we can pass and utilize across the country,” she said.

Franco explained all public school districts are part of the program and all students should qualify. 

Alicia Valladares registered her two children and is taking advantage of the new program.

“Right now, I’m living paycheck by paycheck, and this really helps them get the nutrition they need,” she said. “I don’t have to worry they’re going to be hungry for the morning or lunch.”

Parents must fill out an application at the center, so their children could have an access pin for the vending machines.

Franco said according to the Feeding America website more than 147,000 children in the Valley live in food insecure households. 

The vending machines will be at the Valley Nature Center until August 22.

Valley Nature Center
301 S. Border Avenue Weslaco, TX

Texas Hunger Initiative