Texas Association of School Board recognizes FIT for “Standing Up for Texas Public Schools” (2020)
To educate children, parents and the community in order to promote nutritional health and maximize student potential.
To eliminate weekend hunger in our community and ensure children and families have knowledge to make informed nutritional choices.
Food In Tummies (FIT) is an innovative program designed by The Junior League of Austin (JLA) in collaboration with the Del Valle Independent School District (DVISD) that provides weekend nourishment to children in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Every week during the school year, 250 JLA member volunteers commit over 200 hours to packing and delivering over 7,200 food items in weekend food bags to 900 DVISD students. Each food bag also includes an educational flyer in both English and Spanish with a recipe, tips to stay healthy, and other important information for students to share with their families.
In addition to weekend food bags, the FIT program also works with community partners to provide school supplies, holiday turkeys, and other needed items identified through collaboration with DVISD administration and student and family feedback. FIT is committed not only to providing food, but also education on healthy food choices. FIT volunteers host pep rallies each semester to get the students excited about healthy food choices. Additionally, after a hiatus during the pandemic, we are excited to bring back parent cooking classes.
CHILDREN FACING HUNGER
Hunger affects 1 in 5 children across the country, and 1 in 7 children in Central Texas (before COVID-19), according to the Central Texas Food Bank.
Extensive research across multiple studies shows that children who are hungry face challenges in school. The National School Lunch Program, a meal program in schools, addresses hunger during the week, but not during the weekend. According to Children’s Health Watch, children who don’t receive proper nourishment over the weekend do not start learning again until Wednesday. A new hunger cycle then begins on Friday for these children. FIT seeks to bridge the hunger gap between Friday and Monday. Studies also indicate that proper nutrition improves school attendance, health, and classroom behavior. Since the inception of FIT, school administrators have seen many of these benefits in their schools.
WHAT STUDENTS AND TEACHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT FIT
“Thank you for dedicating your time to prepare the individual bags. You truly provided a great service to our school.” – 3rd Grade Teacher, Hillcrest Elementary
“I think having extra food over a weekend can be a lifesaver.” – 1st Grade Teacher, Hillcrest Elementary
“Thank you for this program. You are servicing a need that would otherwise go unnoticed.” – Pre‐K Teacher, Baty Elementary
“I love knowing the students have something healthy to eat.”– 4th Grade Teacher, Baty Elementary
“Thanks for all the money you spent on our school. I’m sure everybody loved them because I did. I loved the popcorn chips—it was my emergency snack.” – 3rd Grade Student, Hillcrest Elementary
“Thank you for the food you donated to us; and thank you for filling our empty tummies.”– 3rd Grade Student, Hillcrest Elementary
“I like receiving the FIT bag because when my mom is working and I’m hungry, I can get good food to eat.” – 4th Grade Student, Baty Elementary