FREEPORT — Until someone gets out and sees them, sometimes people can be blind to those in need, Brazosport ISD Trustee Joe Rinehart said. Seeing the Brazosport ISD Meals on the Move program in action was an example of that, he said.
With $1,000 each donated by port LNG and BASF, the district piloted its mobile meals program for the past two weeks, Child Nutrition Director Rachel Arthur said.
“They stepped up immediately and said, ‘We want to be a part of this,’” Arthur said.
Their funding pays for fuel, labor, marketing and equipment to feed about 200 kids a day, she said.
A school bus with the meals goes out to strategic locations in the Brazosport ISD community where they can feed as many kids as possible, Education Foundation Executive Director Brittany Rosenbaum said. Anyone 18 or younger can get a free lunch, she said, which Tuesday came with slushies, chips, fruit and other items to make a full, substantial meal.
Some parents work all day, meaning kids at home for the summer might not get a midday meal, Arthur said.
“This meal is very important,” she said. “It’s pretty awesome to see them excited about it.”
Freeport LNG understands food insecurity doesn’t end during the summer, spokeswoman Wendy Mazurkiewicz said.
The company is always supportive of the school district, and “this is one way to enhance our partnership with BISD,” Mazurkiewicz said.
BASF is committed to the community and partnerships with schools, BASF community outreach representative Tabitha Ray said.
“Kids can’t be successful when they’re hungry,” she said.
This program helps give parents peace of mind to know there is food coming to the house, Ray said, and it’s reflected in the smiles on children’s faces.
Elizabeth Quinones, 3, had one of those smiles Tuesday as she got food from the bus parked on Avenue J. She likes the food, she said, and her favorite part was “la manzana,” or apple.
Rinehart taught for a long time, he said, and learned “you never know what you don’t know.” Which kids are hungry is one of those things, he said.
Rinehart is proud of Arthur and her group for organizing this program and thankful for Freeport LNG and BASF for sponsoring, because it’s easier when they have help, Rinehart said.
The district also will have free meals for anyone 18 or younger at Lanier Middle School and Lake Jackson Intermediate School through July 26, Arthur said.
The district hopes to implement the mobile meal program for the full summer next year, Arthur said.