Kids line up along the island inside the kitchen of the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, ready to be served the day’s meal. On Monday, they ate fowl tacos, served with an orange and milk. Some days it’s warm dogs or hamburgers.
The loose meals served to the children are part of the countrywide Summer Food Service Program, and the MLK center is just one in all diverse Denton places that offer free food to children and teens 18 and younger.
“I’ve tasted everything they’ve got, and it’s in reality top,” Debbie Smallwood stated.
Smallwood, who used to work at Denton ISD but is now retired, facilitates serve food to kids. This is the second summer she has helped out with the program. The weekday breakfast and lunch meals on the King center are subsidized with the aid of the nonprofit S. Tracy Howard Project.
“It is lots extra worthwhile than I idea it might be,” Smallwood said.
Nationally, 17.Nine% of youngsters 18 and underneath enjoy meals insecurity, in keeping with the No Kid Hungry marketing campaign run through Share Our Strength. The No Kid Hungry campaign defines it as “limited or unsure availability of safe, nutritious meals at some point all through the 12 months.”
In Texas, 23.Eight% of youngsters revel in food lack of confidence, in line with No Kid Hungry.
Smallwood stated she serves about 90 meals a week. Some of the kids who receive food are a part of summer camps, while others are individuals of the network who drop with the aid of for meals. No toddler is refused a meal.
“I suppose it has [grown],” Smallwood said. “I suppose, from last yr, we’ve had a touch more — maybe with the aid of 20 youngsters. That doesn’t appear to be loads, however if you have children that don’t have food, to me that’s lots.”
Just under sixteen% of youngsters in all states participated within the summer season food application in 2015, “based at the quantity of low-earnings students who qualified free of charge or decreased-price lunch all through the faculty year,” in line with No Kid Hungry.
“It’s tough to recognize that there are hungry children,” Smallwood said.