Approximately 27,000 West Texas children are food insecure. WTFB strives to care for these children by providing nutritious food. We partner with schools and social service programs to distribute meals to children in need throughout the school year and summer. As we open our new facilities, we hope to offer even more programs to fight childhood hunger.
Our school year programs are supplemented by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and USDA through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).The summer program is also supplemented by the TDA and USDA, as well the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which allows us to prepare and distribute daily meals for children to three sites.
Weekend backpack programs supply participating schools with nutritious, kid-friendly, self-serve food designed to fit into a child’s backpack and feed him or her over the weekend. Children identified by school personnel as “at risk for hunger” receive a backpack with food for two meals, each Friday during the school year.
The backpack programs currently serve over 3,600 chronically hungry school children each week in Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, Monahans, and Pecos. During the 2014-2015 school year, WTFB backpack programs provided 195,000 meals to “at risk” children.
Kids who participate in their school’s free or reduced-price lunch programs often don’t receive an evening meal at home. Kids Cafe© provides a nutritious meal to these children at after-school programs.
Kids Café is the most expansive child-feeding program in the nation, thanks to the work of Feeding America. The West Texas Food Bank currently operates five Kids Café sites that feed more than 600 children. During the 2014-2015 school year, we prepared 75,000 meals. Of those meals, 18,000 were served during the summer, in connection with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Odessa and Midland, and Third Edition Odessa.
School Pantry Program (2016)
WTFB is developing the School Pantry Program to fight childhood hunger and provide readily accessible food to low-income students and their families. Participants will be able to obtain non-perishable items and fresh produce at local school pantries. Distribution will take place during and after school.