FEATURE: Child Nutrition Goes Above & Beyond to Support Families in a Time of Need

In an unprecedented time where unknowns circulated the daily life of our Tomball community, one shared experience brought hope to those who needed it the most. 

For Tomball ISD’s Child Nutrition Department, the experience grew into much more than just providing meals for families but rather sharing in the efforts to fully support their needs throughout the hard times this community has faced since March.

“It’s our job to adapt to any learning landscape and continue to support the nutritional needs of our students to fulfill our mission,” Director of Child Nutrition Whitney Johnson said.

“It is the mission of the Tomball ISD Child Nutrition Department to nutritionally nurture the process of producing lifelong learners who successfully compete in a changing global society. We strive to achieve this mission by providing nutritionally sound meal choices, attractively served in a pleasant environment by professionally trained staff members.”

Since March, Child Nutrition made it their mission to support Tomball ISD families by offering a free weekly curbside meal service. The free service allowed families the opportunity to visit THS, pick up meals for the week, all of which were free of charge.

As this service was being implemented, the expectations and longevity were unknown. However, as each week continued to show the need to support the families of TISD, the heroic efforts of these staff members created a sense of belonging and teamwork within the community.

Dedicated to their mission, this inspiring group set out the week after Spring Break and served meals to families for 14 consecutive weeks. Despite battling the hot Texas temperatures and their own COVID-related challenges, this shared experience truly brought out the best in the Tomball staff and community.

“As we all know, this time in history is like no other,” Johnson said. “Many families of our community suffered hardships never seen before. Providing free meals was a way to ease the worry of stretching family finances.”

Over the 14 weeks, 323,934 free student meals were served to families across Tomball ISD and contributions from staff members across several different departments truly made it a one-of-a-kind experience that resonated with many across the community.

“I enjoyed being able to give all the families the meals for the students in need, and also everyone enjoyed the work environment,” TMHS Child Nutrition staff member Beatriz Abeja said. “I really enjoyed being a part of a staff who helps all the families in need.”

It was a Team Tomball effort that will never be forgotten. It was an example of how a group of motivated individuals can set out on a mission and truly impact the lives of so many. 

“There were many positives while serving our community,” Johnson said. “The best part was seeing our families during these uncertain times. Sharing a smile (through the mask) or an encouraging word made any anxious moments subside. We were all a bit apprehensive at first with the unknowns of COVID-19. This new found mission of serving our community allowed for a place to channel all our nervous energy during the early days. This opportunity was not only beneficial to our families, but also had many rewarding moments for our staff and brought Team Tomball even closer together.”