SAN ANTONIO – While teachers and students stay home for safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, cafeteria teams are leaving their families to go in to work and make sure that no child misses a meal.
“We forget that many of these families are facing financial difficulty,” Teresa Velasquez, cafeteria manager, Zachry Middle School, said. “Students depend on the healthy meals during the school year.”
These unsung heroes are passionate about serving up free breakfast and lunch every day, Monday - Friday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Hunger doesn’t take a break, just because there’s no classes,” Velasquez says.
Managers from other schools, Northside ISD police, and other staff are working together at designated schools to keep this operation afloat.
“We serve so many meals, we have so many parents that are so happy with all of this,” she said. “It’s truly inspiring.”
One family couldn’t make it to the school, due to a car accident, so the school counselor delivered those meals to the family.
“It’s nice to put a face to the parents cause we don’t meet the parents, we just meet the students,” she said.
Most people may not realize that the free meals are not just open to NISD students.
“If you have a 1-year-old or a 2-year-old or if they live in the Edgewood district or in Boerne or wherever it is, they are able to come here,” Velasquez said. “As long as they are 18 and under.”
It’s a grab-and-go system. You pull up to the front of the school, let the staff know how many children you have, and they put the meals in your vehicle, no contact required. The free meals are distributed Monday - Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Zachry Middle School, located at 9410 Timber Path.
“It’s really nice that you see them so happy to see you,” she said. “It’s just great.”
For more information on these free meal programs, click here.