- Wichita Falls ISD
- Community Insider Winter 2019
Superintendent’s Spotlight, by Mike Kuhrt
Hello Parents and WFISD Staff,
Students at Burgess Elementary go through the cafeteria line after school to get a supper meal before they leave to go home.
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin once said, “If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger.”
However, hunger seems to be a mission that just won’t end. We are still working on it.
In fact, this year we, along with our food service provider Chartwells, started something new. We not only provide nutritious breakfasts – some of them actually served in classrooms to make sure everyone gets one – and hearty lunches, we now serve suppers at eight of our schools.
This is called our “Supper Program.” It’s a federally funded program that helps bring more nutritious and balanced meals to the children within our community.
Statistics show that one in four children in the United States faces hunger. Unfortunately, that includes our city, our neighborhoods, and our students’ families. We DO have children who may not get a meal after the bell rings and they head home.
We’ve stepped up our response to this bitter reality. If we can help any child worry less about where his next meal will come from, then that is what we want to do.
We started the Supper Program in September at Burgess Elementary and Hirschi High School. Since then, we’ve expanded it to include Wichita Falls High School, Barwise Middle School, Kirby Middle School, Franklin Elementary, Lamar Elementary and West Foundation Elementary.
Here’s how it works: Meals are available to anyone – anyone! – 18 years old and under. Parents can join their children for only $3.80 per meal. Supper is served starting at 3:15-3:30 p.m., depending on the school, and ending around 5:15-5:30 p.m.
Listen to these entrees: Chicken tenders, mashed potato chicken bowl, chili and cheese hotdog, beef nachos, chicken alfredo, sweet and sour chicken, cheeseburgers, and BBQ pulled pork sandwich. Not bad, don’t you think?
Chicken wings are even on the menu, and the kids love them.
Executive Chef Carrie Richardson creates the menu on a two-week rotation. She updates it monthly when she identifies the need for something new and exciting.
And it’s working. Thanks to the Supper Program, we are bringing more nutritious and balanced meals to the children of Wichita Falls. We believe it has been very successful. We continue to see it grow. That’s why we expanded from two schools to eight. With the help of more school principals, we will continue to expand the program.
The best part about the program has been seeing how excited the kids get over the addition of one full meal to their day. Kids clean their plates and come back for more.
Parents say they like the program because their children can be fed quickly and then go on home to work on other projects, like homework. High school students stop by to get a full meal after grueling sports practices.
I think most people are surprised to learn that these meals are FREE and available to anyone. We are serving quality food that is free to anyone younger than 18 years old and for just $3.80 per meal for anyone else.
Initially, we advertised the program by sending letters home with children, by including this in school morning announcements, and through social media and local news agencies. I wanted to tell you about it so that you will come out, eat, invite your friends and tell others.
We know all children need to be well nourished to perform at peak potential. That’s not news. But this program’s existence may still be news to many. Encourage anyone you know who would benefit from our Supper Program to take full advantage of it.
We want everybody to “eat well after the bell.”