Hunger prevention is vital to proper growth and development of children. In Tarrant county 23.3% (116,370) of the county’s children live with food insecurity. School Counselors refer families in crisis to Community Storehouse. Studies show:
• Children who have their food needs met are more likely to reach their full growth potential.
• Children who have their food needs met are generally healthier and tend to have higher academic achievement because they are well prepared for school and absent less often.
• Healthier children display social and behavioral wellness because they tend to adapt better to environmental stress.
Community Storehouse Food Pantry
2,536 Children Served*
Families facing food insecurity can apply for assistance in our client services office. Case managers determine eligibility based on documentation provided by the applicant, an intake interview, and state income guidelines. Food pantry vouchers are issued typically for 1-3 months of food assistance at a time. Emergency food boxes are available to anyone requesting food. No one requesting food is turned away. Supplemental food is made available for qualifying families when their children are out of school during summer and holiday breaks. Senior citizens 62 years and over qualifying as low-income can apply for the Senior Food Program and receive grocery assistance each month as well as holiday food.
Weekend Snack Pack Program
140,663 Snack Packs Provided to Children*
The Community Storehouse Weekend Snack Pack Program meets the nutritional needs of children at risk of hunger during weekends. Most of these children rely on the federally 9 subsidized free or reduced meal program to provide them with breakfast and lunch during the school week. Food insecurity over the weekends causes these students to come to school very hungry Monday mornings. In an effort to close the gap between opportunity and achievement for children in our community, the Community Storehouse Snack Pack Program provides these children with bags filled with kid-friendly nutritious foods at their school site. The snack packs are assembled by volunteers at the Community Storehouse food pantry and delivered by volunteers to school partners each week. The school staff (counselor, nurse, teacher, etc.) identifies students suffering from weekend food insecurity and the Community Storehouse Snack Packs are put into their backpacks each Friday. A typical pack will contain: granola bars, cereal bars, cheese or peanut butter crackers, fruit snacks, pretzels, trail mix, dried fruit, beef jerky, Pop Tarts, fruit cups, pudding cups and other non-perishable, child-friendly snacks.
Summer Feeding Programs
Summer leaves many kids with a season of food insecurity. During the summer these children do not have access to the National School Lunch Program which provides free or reduced lunch each and every school day. The national child food insecurity rate is 22.4%. In Tarrant county 23.3% (116,370) of the county’s children are food insecure. Unfortunately, for many low income children, their parents simply cannot cope with the increased cost to feed them through the summer months. Meeting the summer food needs of low-income children is important because children who have their food needs met are more likely to reach their full growth potential, be healthier and display social and behavioral wellness. .
Summer Food Box
698 Children Served*
In the spring semester, school counselors identify students who can benefit from supplemental food over the summer months and encourage parents to register. The Summer Food Box program provides these families with a box of kid-friendly supplemental food in June, July and August. Volunteers assemble, pack and distribute Summer Food Boxes adding children’s books, bread, fresh fruit and vegetables to the distribution as available. 10
174 Students Served*
The Summer Lunch Program provides a meal for any hungry child up to age 18 at a fixed feeding site where the at-risk population of children suffering food insecurity is highest. There volunteers play board games, puzzles and help attendees pick out free books to encourage summer reading. Volunteers also serve the food and maintain clean conditions at the feeding site. Additionally, this program provides lunch to every child attending our Quest Reading and Summer Book Club educational enrichment programs. Mobile Food Estimate 100 Children Served* Many low-income children lack transportation to get to traditional summer feeding sites.