Cameron Co. WIC Offering Children Free Meals
BROWNSVILLE – Five Cameron County WIC locations will be serving hot meals to hungry children this summer free of charge. The WIC clinic in San Benito offered chicken burgers on a wheat bun, pineapple cups and milk on Monday.
Yvette Vicinaiz, interim WIC director, said Cameron County is one of 12 entities throughout the state that was granted money to provide food for children. "(The children) are all eligible to get two meals - breakfast and lunch - (in) school, and then they are out of school for the summer," she said. "What happens is that's 10 extra meals that the family has to make up for, Monday through Friday. At least we can help take some of that burden for some families."
Catholic Charities is also helping by cooking and delivering the meals every day to the designated sites.
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Lucy Nolasco took her two granddaughters to enjoy a hot meal and get vaccines. "It helps a lot, you know. (Sometimes) we struggle a little, 'poquito' and any little help (for them), is good for us,” she said.
Nolasco added the family gets by with making anything available at home last as long as possible. She said it’s been tough with growing children and their constant appetites. "They always want to be snacking, here and there - always want to be eating," she said.
Vicinaiz also said the meals are designed to be as balanced as possible.
Martha Mendoza Colio, a mother of three, said that's an important aspect of the program. She said she doesn't mind saving a couple dollars. "As children get older, they start eating more. So, with this, we can save a couple cents here and there, especially now that they are out on vacation,” she said.
The state awarded Cameron County $36,000, to continue the program until August 17. With that money, the county was also able to hire nine new employees to help with the program.
The meals must be eaten on-site and any meals left over must be thrown away to ensure the proper food regulations are followed. The program runs Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The following locations will be offering the service:
San Benito WIC Clinic
1390 W. Expressway 83
Lucio WIC Clinic in Brownsville
1204 Jose Colugna Jr. St.
Garden Plaza WIC Clinic in Brownsville
1225 N. Expressway Ste. 2D
Harlingen WIC Clinic
711 North "l" St.
Los Fresnos WIC Clinic
680 E. Ocean Blvd. Ste. A-3
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