USDA expands Baylor program for feeding rural schoolkids to provide 5 million meals a week
It was barely a month ago that we wrote about how a Baylor program — picked up and supported by the USDA, PepsiCo, McLane Global and others — had quickly ramped up to provide a million meals a week to schoolchildren in rural areas impacted by COVID-19-related school closures.
Here’s how well that program has worked: The USDA has now upped that program to FIVE million meals per week. The initial program served children in 12 states; after seeing its success, 23 more states (plus Puerto Rico) have asked to join the program. Researchers within the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, which designed and launched a test run of the program last fall, continue to study the effort’s results to improve the program moving forward.
Viewers nationwide got an up-close view of the program, known as “Meals-to-You,” last week. ABC covered the program last Thursday on ABC World News Tonight and ABC News Primetime, and again Friday morning on Good Morning America.
The stories featured families benefitting from the program. Julie Estes-Gibbs, a mother of six (including three adopted kids) in rural Mabank, Texas, said the Meals-to-You program has been a “game-changer” for her family:
“I’ve got six kiddos… And there’s five growing boys, so they like to eat a lot.. It’s an amazing gift making a huge difference, and I hope that this program continues for our community in the years to come… It’s a game-changer… Now I’m not having to spend the majority of my time going to six different grocery stores to find what I need. This program has been a huge blessing for our families.”
Since its founding as the Texas Hunger Initiative in 2009, the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty has consistently built towards a core philosophy and goal: to bring people from numerous sectors together to not only fight hunger, but end it. Meals-to-You has become a powerful example of that mission — and more importantly, a source of nourishment and support for children and families across the nation
Sic ’em, Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty!