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Dallas ISD hosts large food distribution event to help families during Thanksgiving week

Long lines form outside 11 school campuses as Dallas ISD offers meals and holiday boxes for students and families on Monday.

It's Thanksgiving week. Students and staff in Dallas Independent School District have the week off from classes.

Yet, some campuses were busy on Monday.

“I knew the line was going to be long,” said Quintela Lake, as she waited in line outside South Oak Cliff High School on Monday. 

Eleven schools across the city were busy with long lines of cars. Parents were waiting to pick up a week’s worth of meals for students.

"I think it's good for people, you know, considering the circumstance,” said Carl Grant.

It is, in part, the circumstances around the pandemic that continue to drive some families to food distribution events in large numbers.

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“This is a blessing to the family, I have seven in my family and this is going to help,” said Latrice Johnson, as she waited in line. 

Dallas ISD hosted its largest meal distribution event, knowing times remain tough for many students and families. 

"One thing we know, for sure, just because school may be over for the week, it doesn't mean hunger ends in our community,” said Michael Rosenberger. 

Rosenberger is the executive director of Dallas ISD’s Food and Child Nutrition Services. He said during the months of March through August the school district gave out 10 million meals. 

"Our school district pre-pandemic was a heavy high economic disadvantaged school district. The pandemic has just done untold damage to families within Dallas ISD,” said Rosenberger. 

Outside South Oak Cliff High School, a line of cars stretched from the campus toward I-35 before the event started. 

Students received three food boxes. One box contained breakfast, lunch and dinner for an entire week. The second was a Thanksgiving holiday box with roasted turkey and side dishes. The third was a USDA Family Food box with a variety of groceries.

Parents said the effort is appreciated. 

Dallas ISD administrators said they plan to host two additional food distribution events around Christmas and winter break. 

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