In a bid to help support the wellness, health, and development of students, the Ysleta Independent School District has launched a new “supper program” at three high schools, primarily to provide free and nutritious meals to active students who remain on campus after school for extracurricular activities.
The supper meals are being offered from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. on school days at Del Valle, Hanks, and Ysleta high school. The meals are free of charge to children 18 years and younger, but are also available for purchase by adults.
The supper program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program.
“We launched this program not only to support students, but to help parents who may be concerned their active children don’t have access to healthy food outside the traditional school day,” said Michael Vasquez, YISD’s Director of Child Nutrition Services.
“We have numerous high-school students who stay on campus after school for sports, theater, band, or other clubs,” Vasquez added. “Our new supper program assures parents that their children can easily stop by the school cafeteria and eat a nutritious meal on their way to rehearsal or practice – instead of simply curbing their appetites with chips, candy, or fast food.”
The supper program was first piloted in January at Ysleta High School, expanding to Del Valle and Hanks high schools in February, officials said.
This new program is just the latest effort by YISD to increase student access to healthy meals. Already, 33 schools in the Bel Air, Del Valle, Parkland, Riverside, and Ysleta learning communities provide free lunch meals to every student, regardless of family income. In addition, all YISD schools offer free breakfast meals to all students.