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Free Summer Lunch Program Shatters Expectations: 11,000 Meals Served to Kids and Adults Since June

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_DSC6512_largeStudents who qualify for free and reduced lunch during the school year often miss out on adequate nutrition when school is out during the summer. This summer, thanks to Sendero Health Plans and free summer lunch program partners Central Health and Central Texas Food Bank, hundreds of area children as well as those who accompanied them received free daily lunches, plus weekend food bags.

The initiative is a pilot with the United States Department of Agriculture and Central Texas Food Bank to increase healthy eating. The program at Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center served more than 6,000 meals at its location in the Montopolis area, and also featured cooking demonstrations, free produce, puppet shows, games, and general health information for the community.

“This opportunity supports our mission to help people live healthier lives,” Sendero Health Plans President and CEO Wesley Durkalski said. “We are proud to be part of a program to help make sure that no child goes hungry during the summer, and to provide these meals in a respectful and dignified environment.”

The joint effort was one of the first summer lunch programs in Travis Country to offer meals to both adults and children. The program operated at three Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in Travis County, and ends for the year on Friday, Aug. 19.