Summer Nutrition Program Receives Best Practice Recognition
The Garland Summer Nutrition Program was recognized by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) in February for its “Innovate Collaboration and Site Enrichment” in the provision of summer meals to children. The recognition reads as follows:
In recognition of distinguished performance associated with the Summer Food Service Program, the Texas Department of Agriculture awards the City of Garland for Best Practice: Innovative Collaboration and Site Enrichment. The Texas Department of Agriculture applauds your commitment to healthier futures for Texas children. Your efforts hold great promise and potential for advancing the 3E’s of Healthy Living – Education, Exercise and Eating Right. The Department looks forward to growing this partnership as we prepare today’s children to be tomorrow’s leaders.
Todd Stapes, Commissioner Feb. 27, 2014
The “innovative collaboration” recognizes the Summer Nutrition video production, which captures the program in action at various sites throughout the city. Produced by the Public & Media Relations Department, the video highlights meals and activities and the City’s role in the community program. Through its many partnerships with City departments, churches, apartment complexes, parks, recreation centers, and community agencies, the summer meal program symbolizes the synergy of many entities working in concert in delivery of a community goal.
The “site enrichment” effort recognizes the partnerships with the many partners who make the Garland Summer Nutrition possible, including Saturn Road Church of Christ and its Care, Play and Read program. Each year, more than 100 to 250 kids and their parents receive daily meals at Saturn Road Church of Christ, located at 3030 Saturn Road. Church volunteers provide enrichment activities such as reading, computer lab time, and play time. Participating children get to play and fellowship in a safe, supervised environment while the parents receive a meal courtesy of the church.
The Garland Fair Housing Services Department, which administers the Summer Nutrition Program, was honored to receive the recognition. Staff members Pamela Harris, Summer Nutrition coordinator, and Deborah Garza, Summer Nutrition assistant, received the recognition at the 2014 TDA Summer Food Service Conference in Austin.
“We’re honored to receive recognition for the commitment and efforts of our staff and community collaborations, and in being recognized at a statewide level for our program,” said Priscilla Wilson, senior managing director, who oversees the program.
The 2014 Summer Nutrition Program will be offered June 9-Aug. 8. Consistent with TDA’s goals, the Garland meal program seeks to provide activities that "Promote the 3E’s of Healthy Living – Education, Exercise and Eating Right." Each site coordinates its own activities, and examples of activities include: chalk art; art poster contests; reading contests; City library information to encourage families to get library cards; spelling contests by grades; cooling misters at outdoor sites; exercise program by a Parks & Recreation staff member; jump rope competitions; environment protection information; West Nile Virus informational video; a confidential social service referral process; and PepsiCo Food Service Activity Kit and Prize Boxes as incentives for participation.
Supporters and Sponsors: The City also would like to recognize the many program supporters and sponsors, which include: Garland Power & Light; General Dynamics; Interceramic Inc.; Garland Human Resources Department; Garland Purchasing Department; Garland Parks & Recreation Department; Garland Water Utilities; and The Dallas Cowboys organization.
Funding: The City of Garland and the Texas Department of Agriculture provide program funding.
Information: The public is invited to participate at any of the 28 sites. For information on how to become involved, please contact 972-205-3300.