MEXIA, Texas — No Kid Hungry Texas is tackling the large number of children that face food insecurity across the state.
"As many as 1 in 4 children in Texas face hunger and in rural communities, that number is even higher," No Kid Hungry Program Manager Mia Medina told 25 News.
Over the last few years, the organization has handed out $30,000 grants to rural school districts.
"We worked with the Texas Rural Education Association to identify school districts who could not only benefit from the support the grant gave," Medina said. "But also were also interested in meeting quarterly to discuss solutions and address childhood hunger with other nutrition directors across the state."
One of the school districts that was awarded a grant recently is Mexia ISD.
"We are a high free and reduced lunch district, so we have a lot of students who do sometimes go home and wonder what they're going to eat," Mexia Director of Finance Erika Chapa said. "Mexia ISD wants to be able to provide help."
The district used the money to feed its students during the pandemic.
"We do have students that go home and might not know when their next meal might be," Chapa said. "So it's important that the school district does their part and help the students with their meals."
No Kid Hungry said it's not just about providing food for students but providing the right kinds of food. They worked to bring together child nutrition directors from across Texas to share their practices and improve nutrition programs.
"Kids who are eating healthy, they have so many more benefits other than just not being hungry," Medina said. "They are more active in participating in school, they have less absences in school, less likely to be sick. There's a lot of benefits to ensuring kids have the food they need to thrive."
They are already accepting applications for next year's program and they hope to help many more school districts across Texas.