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MacArthur HS Partners With Houston Food Bank to Take Part in School Market Program

MacArthur HS Partners With Houston Food Bank to Take Part in School Market Program
Posted on 01/10/2019

The initiative aims to reach more children and young families at risk of hunger.

Student and faculty volunteers stock the Houston Food Bank pantry items at MacArthur HS.

One in four southeast Texas children are at-risk of hunger. This means they don’t have consistent access to enough nutritious food. Children need nourishment for success. Studies link healthy nutrition to better grades, improved attendance and a healthier community.

One of Houston Food Bank’s strategic goals is to provide hunger-relief programs. The food bank has many child hunger-relief programs available. These include Kids Cafe, Backpack Buddy and School Market.

Houston Food Bank developed the School Market program to improve older students’ access to nutritional foods. The program targets middle and high school students. This is a vulnerable population that can be difficult to serve as they outgrow programs like Kids Cafe and Backpack Buddy.

School Markets are on-site. Meaning they are set up at a campus for easy access and set distribution schedules.

A key feature of School Markets is that students staff them. Students receive training to perform the various jobs that support the market. These tasks include setting up product for distribution, restocking, and cleaning up the area afterward. This is a great opportunity for student volunteers to practice leadership skills.

Earlier this school year, MacArthur HS partnered with the Houston Food Bank to take part in the School Market Program. The campus operates through a mobile market that brings food to the school in a truck with a large refrigerated trailer

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Market Days at MacArthur HS

  • Dates: Market days are every first and third Saturday of every month until the end of the school year.
  • Place: MacArthur HS Bus Ramp, 4400 Aldine Mail Route (Houston, TX 77039)
  • Time: Open from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. or until all market items have been distributed.
  • Free Groceries Available: Fresh produce, grains, dry beans, meat and a variety of shelf-stable goods
  • Who can take part?: It is open to MacArthur students, family, faculty and community members.
  • What Do Students Taking Part in the Program Need to Bring?: Students must bring their report to their initial visit to the market. Those taking part must also bring their report to the last market day of the school year. Houston Food Bank will analyze the data to see if access to food increases academic achievement.
  • Campus Contact for Program Information: Sheila Billingsley or Cynthia Juárez @ (281) 985-6330
  • Houston Food Bank Email: schoolpantry@houstonfoodbank.org

It is a student-run program. Ricsi Yanes, Odalys Avellaneda, Conception Olvera Magallón and Breana Vargas Rosales comprise the MacArthur HS market crew. They assign tasks to 15-20 student volunteers. For instance, some student volunteers will take the customers’ information. Other students stock the pantry food items and help customers to their cars. Student volunteers from different organizations such as Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Future Health Professionals (formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America or HOSA) and Student Council (StuCo) are assisting with the project.

Each weekend the market is opened, approximately 100 individual families leave with bags of groceries. The first market day held at the campus fed 111 area families.

Food market days are scheduled each month until the end of the school year.

Kudos Houston Food Bank and MacArthur Students for Helping People in the Community!