USDA Summer Food Program Expands To WIC Locations

It’s part of a pilot program.


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Houston is one of only two cities in Texas that now offer a nutritious meal to kids at WIC clinics. 

The Houston Independent School District offers free breakfast to eligible elementary and middle school students during the school year.

“The question is, where do those children eat during the summer?” asks Bill Ludwig, with the USDA. 

Ludwig says the Department’s Summer Food Service program is managed through food banks and other groups, and it’s offered in parks and recreation centers.

But Ludwig says many children just don’t go to those places for a meal.

“The WIC program is a nutrition-based program. So we started a pilot here in Houston to feed children that are going into WIC clinics,” says Ludwig.

WIC stands for Women Infants and Children. It’s the federal govrnment program to make sure low income families do not go without a meal. 

“Overall, we have gone from about 150 to 300 meals served daily. They don’t necessarily have to be on WIC. As long as they’re within the age category of 1 to 18, they come into the WIC clinic and they will also be served,” said Sara Garcia, a nutritionist with Houston’s WIC program.

Last year, the USDA reimbursed more than $7 million dollars to some 822 Houston sites that served more than 3 million meals.

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