HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Food insecurity is a major issue in Texas, especially in the Rio Grande Valley. However, the Be A Champion Inc. Fuel Food Program is on a mission to change that. 

Program Director Janet Hong said the program began in 2013, and since then the nonprofit organization has helped children who are not able to get food or meals after school. 

Because of the demand, Hong said the nonprofit is working to expand its reach. 

“There are a lot of locations that we’re working with and of course we’re looking forward to partner up with more schools and sites that are within the area,” she said. 

According to Hong, meal assistance is provided year-round for children ages 18 and under. 

“Our mission and our goal is to serve students out of school time and as well as during the summertime when they’re not able to access meals like they typically would during the school year,” she said.

According to Hong, meals through the Be A Champion Inc. Fuel Food Program are free and can be picked up at various locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley:

Livingway Family Church: 350 Ruben M Torres in Brownsville (Every Thursday 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.)

Livingway Family Church: 1234 E New Hampshire in Harlingen (Every Thursday 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.)

Faith Pleases God: 4501 W Expressway 83 in Harlingen (Every Monday 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.)

City of La Feria: 901 Pancho Maples Drive (Every Thursday 3:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.)

Santa Maria Community Center: 11613 US Highway 281 in Santa Maria (Every Wednesday 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.)

Combes Community Center: 21626 Hand Road in Harlingen (Every Friday 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.)

Hong said a child does not have to be present during the meal pickup but the parent/guardian must provide documentation such as a school ID, a report card, passport, birth certificate, report card, issued ID by childcare facility, or an official ID issued by state or local government.

Visit Be A Champion Inc. for more information about this program.