McAllen ISD in partnership with Texas Hunger Initiative of Baylor University and other organizations, bringing together school districts and community leaders from across six counties, including Webb and Zapata to discuss school breakfast programs.
Dr. Elaine Hernandez, Regional Director Texas Hunger Initiative says, “We recognize that food security is an issue. Today we will be presenting how school meals help to solve the issue of food insecurity in our border region.”
While child food insecurity has decreased in Texas to 23 percent in 2016, here in the RGV region it has remained higher affecting nearly one of out of three children. McAllen ISD seems to have broken the mold when it comes to breakfast models. Their 2nd Bell Breakfast program has a participation rate of 108 percent meaning more kids are eating breakfast than lunch.
Alexandra Molina, McAllen ISD Child Nutrition Director, “It allows kids to walk in and out of their classrooms to get a breakfast. There is no identification of why you’re getting a breakfast, it really puts all of the kids together.”
Studies have shown breakfast can have both academic and health benefits for students. Daily, the McAllen ISD serves 19,000 breakfast meals. They are paying the way for success at other districts with their model being replicated throughout schools across the nation.
“We want to congratulate McAllen ISD for their innovation, experience, and for their willingness to bring everyone together at the table. To help each other to solve the issue of hunger in our region.” Says Dr. Hernandez.
McAllen ISD serves free breakfast, lunch, after school snacks, and dinner during the school year. That adds up to 7 million meals during the school year annually.