Food insecurity is defined as the lack of consistent access to quality, affordable food.
The Effects of Food Insecurity
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is strong evidence between lack of access and consumption of healthy foods with academic achievement. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased poverty rates and unemployment; all leading to additional hardships (including food access) experienced by family households.
Addressing Food Insecurity in our Community
To eliminate food access barriers and provide non-academic supports for our students, Collaborative Communities has targeted food insecurity as part of its community impact strategy. Specifically, the department prioritizes food for weekends and holiday breaks for designated students. For information on how the District provides Grab & Go meals for the traditional school week, contact the District's Child Nutrition Department.
Partnerships with the Houston Food Bank, community members and community organizations have propelled Collaborative Communities to provide for thousands of families in the District.
In efforts to coordinate and streamline food distributions to acheive ultimate impact in the community, Collaborative Communities has developedfood distribution procedures.
Community organizations and members who wish to host food distributions in partnership with the Houston Food Bank or other designated food vendors on a Fort Bend ISD campus must adhere to the food distribution guidelines. Below is a high level overview with key details provided in the comprehensive guidelines:
Step 1:Host organization requests to schedule a food distribution at least two weeks in advance. All inquiries should be directed to the Executive Director of Collaborative Communities, Payal Pandit Talati by email atPayal.Pandit@fortbendisd.comor phone at 281-634-1112.
Step 2:Collaborative Communities will assess scheduled food distribution events to prevent conflicts and determine if there is sufficient District support available to meet the request.
Step 3:Collaborative Communities will contact Fort Bend ISD Police Department to assess police officer resource capacity.
Step 4 (a):If there are no conflicts and there is District support available for the event, Collaborative Communities will contact interested host organization with the next steps to confirm the event.
Step 4 (b):If there are conflicts and/or insufficient District support, the host organization will need to need to submit a request via the DistrictFacilitronplatform.
The Shared Cupboard is an extension of Collaborative Communities Shared Dreams Program. A newly created initiative, the Shared Cupboard collects the following food items to provide weekend and holiday food sets for students identified by desginated campus staff.
Non-perishable Food Items:
Canned meat such as chicken and tuna in water vs. oil
Canned Soups: low sodium and salt
Canned Fruits: water vs. syrup
Canned Vegetables: low sodium and salt
Peanut Butter and Jelly (Wowbutter and SunButter are alternate options due to potential allergies)
For more information on collecting food items or donating to this important effort, please contactBobbie Anderson, Community Engagement Liaison or submit a monetary donation directly to the Shared Dreamsdonation page.
Shared Harvest is a newly created initiative that launched in the 2020-2021 academic school year. The initiative aims to address food insecurity experienced by District families during the November holiday break to ensure that they are able to enjoy the holidays without the unnecessary stressors experienced from economic hardship and / or poverty.
Working in tandem with designated campuses, identifed families receive a traditional holiday meal. Information for the 2021-2022 initative is forthcoming.
For inquiries on how you can get involved, contactBobbie Anderson, Community Engagement Liaison.