McAllen ISD is just one district who has joined the wave of serving dinner after school, and they say it works in the best interest of their students.
Whether they’re staying late, or need a warm meal, McAllen students have access to all three during the week – with dinner free of charge.
The Nutrition Program has included dinner for some time now, but parents and students have expressed how much they value the change to the district.
It’s open to anyone under the age of 18, and school officials tell CBS 4 that you don’t have to be enrolled in the district’s school to pick up supper.
Dinner is served on their campuses Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Monday through Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at two Boys and Girls Club locations in McAllen.
The district’s dietitian and menu specialist says it’s a healthy alternative to fast food too.
“It’s nice that here at school, you know that you’re receiving a nutritious meal because we’re following very specific guidelines where we want the kids to receive fruits, vegetables, nice lean proteins, so it’s just a great healthy option for them,” Lizlette Quintanilla says.
School officials say that they know one of the best ways to keep their students focused and happy is to provide a meal that will keep them sustained as they go about their day.
Quintanilla says this also benefits students who stay after school for extracurricular activities.