FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Hot meals were replaced with hummus, pretzels and fruit cups after a summer day camp program run by the City of Fort Worth turned to a food bank to feed kids.
The city made the arrangement after two potential vendors failed to meet state standards for the program.
For now, the Tarrant Area Food Bank is providing the lunch and snack that are part of the Camp Fort Worth program. More than 1,400 kids are attending the program this year at city community centers.
A new vendor is expected to being providing regular meals, possibly as soon as next week.
Sonia Singleton in Fort Worth’s neighborhood services department said the city started in January trying to find a vendor for the program. Just before awarding the contract however, she said the vendor stated they only wanted to provide cold meals, which would not meet the Texas Department of Agriculture standards for summer food programs. Singleton explained a second vendor was unable to provide financial security to carry out the job.
The Tarrant Area Food Bank jumped in, providing mostly non-perishable items for kids to eat. Anita Foster with TAFB said the organization put out a request for more kids-friendly donations because of increased participation with Fort Worth.
A letter sent to parents described the current meals as temporary, and meeting all nutritional guidelines.
Tuesday, several kids at the Fire Station Community Center in the Fairmount neighborhood brought their own lunch.
Feedback from those who ate the food provided, was mixed.
“It was good, it just didn’t taste like ham,” said Juliette Greear, describing the lunch she received. Shane Morris, could only remember getting sunflower seeds.
Parents said they had concerns at first, but it seemed the city was handling the situation well.
“It’s not ideal, and it’s not what we had in the past, but it does meet the standard,” said Phyllis Greear.
Not all community centers were handling the situation in the same way. In the Como neighborhood, the center was using grant funds for field trips to buy lunches. Tuesday, kids said they received sandwiches from Subway.