AUSTIN, Texas, June 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Students who qualify for free and reduced lunch during the school year often miss out on adequate nutrition when school is out for summer. Either they are unaware of free summer lunch programs around Central Texas or they don't have a way to get to the program.
In an effort to address this challenge, Sendero Health Plans is partnering with the Central Texas Food Bank, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to sponsor free summer lunch programs at three Federal Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in Austin through August 19, 2016. Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center, CommUnityCare North Central Health Center and People's Community Clinic are also partners in the initiative to link health centers with healthy food programs.
Last summer Sendero Health Plans sponsored a pilot program with the Central Texas Food Bank to include adults, not just students. Healthy meals were provided for adults who accompanied their children to a free lunch program. Other free lunch program around the country do not include adults. The results in Austin were positive and now the Central Texas Food Bank is providing meals for both children and the adults who accompany them to the three FQHCs in partnership with Sendero Health Plans. In addition to the free meals the Central Texas Food Bank is providing a weekend backpack on Friday to each child that attends the summer lunch program so they can have healthy food on Saturday and Sunday. The space is being provided by the clinics and staffed by Sendero Health Plans.
"This opportunity supports our mission to help people live better, healthier lives," said Wesley Durkalski, president and CEO of Sendero Health Plans. "We are proud to be part of a program to help make sure that no child goes hungry this summer, and to provide these meals in a respectful and dignified environment."
The Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center at 2901 Montopolis and the CommUnityCare North Central Health Center at 1210 W Braker Lane will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. People's Community Care Clinic at 1101 Camino La Costa will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every week day except Tuesday. Other weekly nutrition activities at Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center include free produce bags distributed by Farmshare Austin and cooking demonstrations by the Sustainable Food Center. The summer lunch program is open to anyone in the community and does not require registration or enrollment.
More About Sendero Health Plans
Formed in 2011 to improve access to care for those covered by publicly-funded health insurance programs, the non-profit health plan covers an eight-county area in Burnet, Bastrop, Travis, Fayette, Hays, Williamson, Lee and Caldwell counties. Sendero Health Plans is sponsored by the Travis County Healthcare District (d.b.a. Central Health), Visit www.senderohealth.com to learn more about Sendero Health Plans.
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SOURCE Sendero Health Plans