So many kids qualify for free-and-reduced lunch in Dallas ISD — 89 percent, in fact — that in 2013 the district began providing free breakfast and lunch to all students. The need was obviously great, in North Texas, one out of four children don’t know where their next meal will come from. Summer is hardest on those families, when the school-supported meals are no longer available.

Several organizations in our neighborhood are stepping up to fill the gap.

The USDA, working with nonprofit partners like Equal Heart, have adopted the motto “You can’t be well read unless you’re well fed.” They will provide free meals at the White Rock Hills library, 9150 Ferguson Road, on Monday-Friday from noon-1 p.m. It is free to any child with no registration required, just show up and enjoy a meal. Parents can also grab a bite when accompanying their child.

The City of Dallas is working with the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to provide free meals all over the city from June 12-Aug. 15. Some of the neighborhood locations include East Dallas Boys and Girls Club and Samuell Grand Recreation Center (check the map for all locations). Lunch is served from noon-2 p.m., with snacks available from 3-4 p.m.

“Many children get two free meals a day at school. So when school is out, that’s 10 additional meals a family has to provide. Many of these families have children under age five who are also eligible for WIC. Signing up for WIC can help families stretch their dollars,” said WIC manager Darlene Irwin in a statement.

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