As the COVID-19 crisis continues, more and more families are going to need help. Kids’ Meals is asking the public for more volunteers and donations in light of this.
More than 10% of families with children live below the poverty line in Harris County, according to Houston State of Health. Kids’ Meals, which was founded in 2006, provides free, healthy meals to in-need preschool aged-children who don’t have access to school-based meal programs, such as HISD’s Community Eligibility Provision.
Typically, the organization distributes food to around 4,500 children’s homes each day. However, as countywide cancellations increase, Kids Meals is expecting an influx of families in need.
“We anticipate an increase in children in need of meals as families feel the economic impact,” Kids’ Meals Executive Director Beth Braniff Harp stated. “If a family owns a small business and counts on income from major events that are being cancelled, their ability to provide food for their children can be an issue. We want families to know we are here for them.”
The crisis is only exacerbated by the fact that March 16–20 is HISD’s spring break, and even more children will be at home.
“Over spring break alone we will share more than 30,500 meals, and we need the support of this incredible city to make sure we are feeding as many children as possible,” Kids’ Meals wrote in a March 10 blog post.
Kids’ Meals is now asking for more volunteers to pack the meals for delivery. You can sign up for a shift, available 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday, online.
If you can’t make it to a volunteer shift, Kids’ Meals also accepts DIY bag decorating and lunch packs that you can make from home. Full directions for the lunch packs are available online, but some items include a small water bottle, shelf-stable milk box or 100% juice, a fruit cup, and a snack.
People can also donate money to the organization here. “Every $2 donated makes and delivers a healthy meal,” according to a Wednesday press release.
In addition to Kids’ Meals, The Houston Food Bank and Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston are asking for volunteers and donations to help efforts to feed those most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.