Valley family highlights need of summer meals program
In school districts like Edinburg CISD, the poverty level is just over 82%.
Alonda Navarro, the principal at Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Edinburg, says putting food on the plate can be a challenge for low income families during the summer.
“They might not have this opportunity during the summertime as they do during the fall and spring time when we are in full school session," Navarro said.
But the summer food service program guarantees that children 18 and under have access to a free breakfast and lunch during summer break.
“I think it's something really great because there's people struggling right now, people that may not be working right now, and it's a big opportunity for people who don't have enough food at home or can't afford it,” San Juanita Ruiz said. “They can come here and get food."
Ruiz has two daughters in elementary school and says the free summer meals have really helped keep costs down when prices are so high.
Those meals are being served at select elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as the Edinburg Parks and Recreation Activities Center.
The program has been around for more than 25 years, and funding comes from a federal grant called the Seamless Summer Food Program.
Juan Trevino, ECISD assistant director of child nutrition, believes inflation could make things harder for families.
“If there is an increase, we'll be ready for it,” Trevino said. “And if not, well, we'll still continue doing what we have to do for the district or anybody in the community."
The schools will stop serving meals after Friday, July 1, but the parks and recreation center will continue offering them through August.