Dallas-based Hunger Busters is on a mission to ensure children in Dallas ISD receive a third meal. The organization estimates at least 8 out of 10 DISD children may not receive dinner – their access to food is often limited to free/reduced price breakfasts and lunches provided at school.
The lack of a third meal means many students arrive at school with a nearly 24-hour gap without food.
“If you’re malnourished, it’s hard to have the energy to go to school, and then it’s harder to focus when you’re there,” said Latame Phillips, Ph.D., Hunger Busters CEO. “Research shows that when students are fed a third meal, their test scores, attendance rates and behavior all improve significantly.”
In 2018, the City of Dallas designated May 25 as Hunger Busters / 145 Day to raise awareness of children’s food insecurity. Based on pre-COVID enrollment numbers for Dallas ISD, Hunger Busters estimated 145,000 students in need; thus the 145th day of the year (May 25 in non-Leap Years) was established as Hunger Busters / 145 Day.
This year, Hunger Busters is asking people to donate half of what they would spend on brunch to Hunger Busters. Funds raised will help increase the number of meals Hunger Busters provides.
Currently, Hunger Busters volunteers make and deliver nearly 3,500 dinners to children in Dallas ISD who don’t have access to a third meal at home.
Hunger Busters works with partners like Central Market, Panera, Eatzi’s and others to supply fresh bread, homemade cookies, fruit and vegetables and high-quality meats and cheeses for students’ meals.
“We only serve meals made with fresh, natural ingredients – we only provide food we would actually eat ourselves,” Phillips said. “Our goal is to expand children’s food knowledge and experiences. We call it NEW-trition.”
Volunteers make and deliver meals to 11 DISD schools and six afterschool programs in Dallas zip codes with the highest disparities in income, health and food access.
“In a region with 22 Fortune 500 companies, no Dallas ISD student should go hungry,” said
Dee Baker Amos, Hunger Busters Board Chairwoman and CEO of DBA & Associates. “Investing in the lives of kids is feeding our future. By providing a nourishing third meal to children in Dallas, Hunger Busters is making today better and tomorrow brighter.”