AISD distributes one million meals to student carers
Caregiver meals are prepared by local restaurants before being distributed at 48 AISD locations.
Austin, Texas – – Austin ISD and the Austin Ed Fund celebrated a major milestone on Thursday: A million meals have been distributed to AISD student carers since the program began in May.
Back in March, when the pandemic started, Austin ISD turned overnight to offer roadside meal pick-ups to students, which is no easy feat for the largest school district in the region. Just a few months later, they decided to expand this to include meals for those who look after the students – whether parents, grandparents, other relatives or friends.
“We knew we would always take care of our students,” said Michelle Wallis, executive director of the Austin Ed Fund. “Then we saw an opportunity to also support the adults in our community who are having problems.”
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Teachers and staff who participated in this round of COVID-19 vaccines were either over 65 years of age or were at high risk.
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They have been able to do this with help from community donors and the City of Austin funds, and these meals have a twofold benefit.
“Not only do we provide families with meals that they need, we also keep the staff busy and keep our restaurants afloat,” said Wallis.
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Caregiver meals are prepared by local restaurants before being distributed at 48 AISD locations. Participating restaurants include Henbit of Emmer and Rye, L’Oca d’Oro, Colleen’s Kitchen, Contigo, Rosedale Kitchen, Hillside Pharmacy, and Easy Tiger.
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The notification that triggered the rollback came on Sunday because COVID-19 hospital stays in trauma service area O, which includes the Austin subway area, exceeded 15% of hospital capacity for 7 days.
“Right now we make about 7,000 meals a week,” said David Norman, head doughpuncher at Easy Tiger.
After initially closing their locations, Easy Tiger was able to stay open during the pandemic by turning to new methods like roadside delivery and selling its baked goods in grocery stores.
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Participation in the AISD program for nurses has also helped them keep beating batter. “We were able to bring back a good chunk of the people we had to lay off when we closed the restaurant in March, and we’ve just built that crew,” said Norman.
Thanks to the ability at AISD and the other adjustments, the owners of Easy Tiger have not only been able to stay in business, but also plan to open a new location in East Austin in February.
“We look forward to continuing to feed Austin and help our community,” said Norman.
In addition to hitting the one million caregiver meals mark, AISD has had other good news lately. Austin Public Health has changed its current agreement with the Austin Ed Fund to provide $ 3.9 million to support caregiver meals when needed through September 2021.
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“There were some tears when we heard,” said Wallis. “It was just amazing to see the generosity.”
To learn more about the Nursing Care Program or to view a list of locations, visit the Austin Independent School District website.
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