Arlington, Texas – In the sprawling expanse of the Dallas metropolitan area, a somber statistic prevails – an alarming 700,000 families are grappling with food insecurity, as per the latest data from United Way Metropolitan Dallas. The issue turns critical during school vacations when sustenance from school-provided breakfast and lunch ceases for many children, making access to nutritious food a towering challenge.
Arlington Charities, Arlington based nonprofit, is trying to help children and family during the summer
This is where Arlington Charities steps in, endeavoring to create a meaningful impact and offer a helping hand.
A notable feature of their outreach is a mobile food market for those tethered to their homes, unable to venture out for provisions. This innovative solution pivots the traditional grocery shopping concept on its axis, providing much-needed assistance to homebound individuals.
“We are a nonprofit social service agency, and our primary mission is addressing food insecurity in the Arlington area,” program director Casey McCollum said to NBC DFW. “We do that in a number of different ways. We have a daily drive-through pantry every single day from about 9 a.m. until noon and we serve about 140 households every day.”
“We send that truck out into the community into food deserts with fresh produce and meal and eggs on it. It’s neat,” McCollum said.
Arlington Charities combines food distribution with education
However, McCollum emphasizes that the organization’s role isn’t confined to food distribution. He shared that education is an integral part of their mission.
“We really value education here as well. Not just helping people with food but helping them beyond other needs that they might have. Part of that is education and we know that many of our families have children. That’s why we wanted to create this new program to help,” McCollum said.
That program is pairing feeding with reading.
“The summer slide where all that knowledge from the kids just falls out their ears over the summer. We wanted to help the kids keep reading over the summer and we know that kids that begin reading sooner, do better in school. So, we wanted to help feel the gaps,” McCollum said.
The program is called ‘Read and Feed’ and combines food with books and bag of healthy snacks
Families registering for the ‘Read and Feed’ program will receive food, books tailored for different age groups, and a bag of healthy snacks.
McCollum acknowledged the critical role of Atmos Energy, whose generous donation made this summer’s program possible. He also noted other upcoming events, but underscored the importance of registration.
The City of Dallas currently runs program to encourage teens to visit Dallas’ top attractions for free
Dallas city officials are strongly urging families to join their new summer program. This special plan aims to give out 10,000 admission passes that include everything, allowing teenagers to visit the city’s most popular attractions.
Dallas Zoo, Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, the African American Museum at Fair Park, and the Dallas Arboretum are some of the attractions that Dallas teenagers aged 13-17 can visit for free this summer.