Pasadena ISD ranked No. 1 in Houston Kroger School Food program

Pasadena ISD ranked No. 1 in Houston Kroger School Food program
Posted on 03/02/2021
Pasadena ISD ranked No. 1 in Houston Kroger School Food program

By Reesha Brown Edwards
PISD Communications

Pasadena ISD has been ranked the No. 1 large school district in the Houston Kroger School Food Rankings program; and No. 2 for the state of Texas.
CHILDREN AT RISK and Kroger broke the news during a live streamed virtual press conference on March 2, where they recognized leaders of the program’s top performing school districts.

Mary Harryman, director of Child Nutrition, praised her team for this prestigious recognition.

“I’m really thankful to work for this district and I’m so proud of my employees,” Harryman said. “From the cafeteria managers, employees, our supervisors to office staff - everybody has taken a part in making this happen, taking care of our kids and being ready to meet the next challenge.”

Pasadena ISD, along with Houston ISD (ranked no. 4 for large districts in the state) and Aldine ISD (ranked no. 3), were selected as top performing districts for going above and beyond to provide nutritious meals for students, especially in times of crisis, including the COVID pandemic and February’s winter storm.

“This ranking is a great example of making intentional efforts to celebrate independent school districts who really take it seriously to try and provide their children not only with the essentials such as food, but nutritious food as well. So on behalf of Kroger, we’d just like to say, ‘congratulations,’” said April Martin, corporate affairs manager, Kroger Dallas Division.

During school closures brought on by the COVID pandemic back in March 2020, Pasadena ISD rose to the challenge and distributed meals through the district’s Curbside Grab-and-Go program. Between March and August 2020, Pasadena ISD served close to one million meals to students through the curbside program.

The program has continued to serve students and are now distributed on Mondays and Thursdays. Thursday’s Grab-and-Go bundle includes meals that last through the weekend. 

In addition to serving meals during the week, the district has served curbside meals during each major holiday break, including the Thanksgiving break and the Christmas break. Child Nutrition will continue this tradition during Spring Break, March 15-19, 2021. 

Beyond the curbside program, the district is celebrating the success of its “Supper and Snacks” and “Breakfast in the Classroom” programs, along with its response to February’s winter freeze.  

A week before the district closed schools, Pasadena ISD served five days worth of meals to students in preparation for the storm.

Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">“We’ve had to be innovative. We’ve had to do things we’ve never done before – serving curbside, serving outside, serving in the rain, the heat and the cold,” Harryman said. “Whatever we need to do. Whatever challenge we need to overcome, our goal is to take care of our kids,” Harryman said.

Pasadena ISD currently serves over 50,000 students, with over 80 percent who qualify for free- and reduced-priced meals.