McAllen ISD’s child nutrition program receives national recognition
Making sure no child goes hungry is the goal of the director for the McAllen Independent School District’s child nutritional program.
And now, the model Alexandra Molina has used in the district will be used as a teaching tool for school districts across the country.
“Nationwide, about one and four kids faces food insecurity,” Molina explained. “In Texas, it's one and three — and here in the Rio Grande Valley, it really is one and two."
Molina’s efforts go beyond feeding children during school hours.
“As the day has gotten longer and longer with after school activities, tutoring, we know that kids get hungry, and we don't know when parents are getting home or if they have the resources,” Molina said. “And so we want to make sure that every day kids get three meals."
The McAllen ISD Meals Program serves dinner at all 30 campuses and community sites such as the Boys & Girls Club during the school year. During the summer break, students are fed breakfast and lunch.
“Our bus drivers and our transportation help us get meals out to where parents may not have transportation,” Molina said.
Molina’s efforts have received national attention from No Kid Hungry, a campaign that works to end childhood hunger in America.
Molina is one of 12 people in the country who've been selected to be a part of the "Out Of School Time Meals Champion" group for the next year.
“She really is an innovator in this space, and goes above and beyond to make sure kids have access to meals every day of the year,” No Kid Hungry Texas Program Manager Mia Medina said. “Alexandra and all of the folks on this cohort will really be meeting as a team on occasion to not only share their best practices, but also innovate on challenges."
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