School buses will roll once again, but for a special reason — they will be delivering fresh produce to students at 68 select elementary campuses as part of a new produce delivery program.
Fresh Bus school buses will provide weekly deliveries of fresh fruits and vegetables to several locations in each school community, making fresh produce directly available to more than 36,000 students.
The initiative is funded by a grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program and coordinated by a collaboration between HISD’s Nutrition Services and Transportation Services.
“We’ve worked hard over the last two months to ensure our students and their families continue to have access to good food despite schools being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “This program is another way to keep that momentum going.”
The Fresh Bus produce delivery program is expected to run through the end of July.
Students enrolled at participating schools are eligible, but parents must complete a registration survey for each child participating in the program. After completing the survey, they will be notified by phone with their confirmed pick-up time.
“The Fresh Bus is an innovative way to ensure our students have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, which is especially important now as we look at ways to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins said. “This program helps lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle for our students.”
When picking up produce, families are required to follow signage and directions from bus attendants, who will be on site to ensure safe pedestrian traffic and appropriate social distancing at the pick-up site.
For more information on the program, visit www.houstonisd.org/freshbus, or call 713-556-2473 or 713-556-2981 between 6:30 a.m. and noon. Messages left after noon or on days when the district is closed will be returned the next business day.