Local organizations step up to help provide meals during remote instruction in Tomball, Magnolia

Balanced Foods is offering a $30 student meal plan with lunches and snacks for the week. (Courtesy Balanced Foods)
Balanced Foods is offering a $30 student meal plan with lunches and snacks for the week. (Courtesy Balanced Foods)

Balanced Foods is offering a $30 student meal plan with lunches and snacks for the week. (Courtesy Balanced Foods)

Candice Weeter, co-owner of Balanced Foods, a healthy prepackaged meal company, said she decided to create a weekly meal program for children while remote learning is the only option.

“A lot of families are in a tough situation; we felt it was our responsibility as a healthy food company to provide for the families,” she said. “[We want to] take a little bit of stress [off of them] where we could help.”

Weeter said the meal plan will begin Aug. 3 and will cost $30 for a week’s worth of meals. The plan includes five meals and five snacks for the week.

“We made sure we were focusing on the children,” she said. “They are the No. 1 priority in everyone's life.”

Balanced Foods has locations in Magnolia, Tomball and Vintage Park, Weeter said.

“Nutrition has a ton to do with how people act and the energy people have,” Weeter said. “We are trying to make sure it is balanced a bit better, so the parents [can make sure their children] have proper nutrition.”

Balanced Foods will offer both pickup and delivery options, with delivery only available on Sundays and adding $5-$10 in charges, Weeter said.

“We’ll deliver anywhere in Houston,” Weeter said. “We’ll deliver to Katy, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Spring, Tomball, Conroe—we’ll deliver everywhere.”

Weeter said over 100 people have signed up for the plan and Balanced Foods has yet to market it.

“We have about a hundred families lined up, and that is just from very little social marketing,” she said. “But we have the capability to do thousands, and we are ready and prepared to do what we need to do.”

Weeter said when schools start to open back up, she sees this option as something families can continue to use.

“A lot of people can’t have microwaves [at school], so we would adjust the meals to be prepared for the way that they would be going to school,” she said.

Magnolia-based Society of Samaritans will hold another food drive Aug. 11 to collect items specifically for children, as Community Impact Newspaper previously reported.

Society of Samaritans Assistant Director Becky Conner said the success of the last food drive earlier this year gave them the idea to do another one.

“The kids—being home and not in school, they are not getting the nutrition they need,” she said. “They are not getting the free or reduced lunches, and we are trying to bridge that gap.”

Conner said at the previous food drive, Society of Samaritans received 5,000 pounds of food, and she expects the next one to be about the same.

“If we do see a continuance in the virtual learning, we will host another food drive, probably within 60 days,” she said.

Conner said a lot of what they request for the remote learning food drives are things children can make themselves, like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cereal.

“We are just trying to give a little boost to the children and community,” she said.

Tomball Emergency Assistance Ministries, which operates a food pantry at 300 W. Main St., Tomball, has seen an increased need in food for children, Executive Director Barry Hart said.

"We have been asking for more snack items, like cheese crackers, canned pasta and juice boxes," Hart said. "Things we know school-aged children enjoy."

Hart said the local community has been very helpful at donating items TEAM has asked for its food pantry.

"We are doing more than we have done in the past," he said. "More families are coming in, just in general, because they are unemployed or underemployed."

Tomball and Magnolia ISD are also adapting to help remote students keep access to school meals.

Magnolia ISD will provide its free curbside meal pickup until Aug. 11. However, the district is planning to offer some new options to families this fall, MISD Director of Communications Denise Meyers said.

Meyers said the district will be offering a meal program with curbside pickups and targeted deliveries to 32 neighborhoods from Aug. 12-Sept. 4.

“Curbside meals will be available Monday-Friday at all elementary, intermediate and high school campuses,” Meyers said. “Breakfast and lunch can be picked up between 9 a.m.-noon.”

Costs for the meals will depend on the student’s grade level and status. Those which qualify for free lunches will have no cost. Reduced lunch costs will be $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch.

Elementary lunches will cost $2.45, and secondary lunches will cost $2.70. Curbside meal options will remain available when MISD schools reopen, but targeted neighborhood deliveries will end.

Tomball ISD’s free meal program ended June 17; however, meals will be available for curbside pickup starting Aug. 18, according to a TISD Facebook post.

“Unlike our spring and summer meal distribution where meals were free to all students, meals will be provided to students at cost based on students’ eligibility,” according to the post. “[This means] that if students would normally pay a full or reduced cost for a school lunch, students will have to pay that amount for curbside meal service during our virtual start.


Pride Houston Parade
Pride Houston fall parade and festival canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

The downtown annual parade and festival, scheduled for Sept. 25, will be replaced by a Montrose block party and other events, organizers announced July 25.

The CDC reversed its masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals in response to the transmissibility of the delta variant of COVID-19 in a press conference July 27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
NEW CDC GUIDANCE: All individuals should wear masks in K-12 schools, including those who are fully vaccinated

The new CDC guidance, announced July 27, also recommends people in areas with "high" or "substantial" levels of transmission wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Texas Medical Center coronavirus updates: Average testing positivity rate nears 10% after sharp increase

Over 97% of people nationwide who are being hospitalized because of the disease are unvaccinated.

As variants are isolated and identified, Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass believes the vaccines available can handle identified variants (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
'The vaccines we have are effective against all the variants out there': Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass discusses variants, vaccinations

As Houston Methodist identified its first case of the lambda variant July 19, Dr. Glass believes vaccines can handle known variants.

Yes Resale will sell used items to benefit Crossbar Academy. (Photo courtesy Wendy Alexander)
Yes Resale coming soon to Hwy. 249 in Tomball

The store will sell used donated items to support Crossbar Academy.

Wendy Yates (left) and Victoria Slater own Bluebonnet. (Brooke Ontiveros/Community Impact Newspaper)
Mother-daughter duo launch party entertainment business, Bluebonnet Entertainment

When Wendy Yates first pitched a party entertainment business to her daughter Victoria Slater in 2019, she hoped to initiate a way for them to spend more time together. To her surprise, Slater, who studied film acting, agreed.

Friendswood Development Co. hosts a triathlon for ages 5-15 with swimming, biking and running distances varying by age group on Aug. 15. (Courtesy Friendswood Development Co.)
TO-DO: 9 events happening in Tomball, Magnolia throughout late July, August

Check out what's happening in Tomball and Magnolia.

A total of 700 homes are planned for Magnolia Ridge, located in the city of Magnolia. (Chandler France/Community Impact Newspaper)
Magnolia sees surge in single-family development with thousands of homes coming

More than 18,000 lots have been identified for future homes across the three Magnolia ZIP codes.

Peter Lake (left), chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, provided an update on state regulators' electric grid redesign efforts in Austin on July 22. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Regulators: Texas electric grid prepared for potentially record-breaking demand next week; 'once-in-a-generation reforms' underway

The heads of the agencies in charge of the Texas electric grid met in Austin on July 22 to provide updates on their grid reform efforts.

Barbarossa Coffee Roasters is hosting an event with GlossBoss Auto Specialists July 25. (Courtesy Barbarossa Coffee)
Food market, anniversary celebration: 4 things to do in Tomball, Magnolia July 24-25

From eating barbecue and enjoying live music to letting the kids take their toy cars out for a spin, here are four things to do this weekend in Tomball and Magnolia.