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      Local organizations collaborate to kick off summer meal program

      The Texas Hunger Initiative came together with four other local organization to kick off the summer meal program on Wednesday.

      The THI collaborated with the Boys and Girls Club of Amarillo, High Plains Food Bank, and Kids Caf for the event.

      The event is to bring awareness to both parents and kids about the availability of free meals for teens and kids who are 18 and younger.

      The program allows kids to come into any participating summer meal program facility for 3 well balanced meals.

      Texas Hunger Initiative??s Regional Director Jennifer Ashley said this program is to ensure the nutrition of kids in the area.

      ??Kids during the summer, we cannot guarantee they're being fed. During the school year they're being fed at school, but during the summer we can't guarantee. That's why the summer meal program is vital,?? said Ashley.

      The meals are all paid by and follow USDA guidelines. Kids are given foods like fruits and vegetables to teach healthy eating habits.

      Ashley also said the program is easily accessible.

      ??You don't have to be a member. If you come off the street and you want to have a meal, the Maverick produces that for this community"

      Some games kids participated in taught about what types of foods are healthy, and games that helped kids understand how to burn calories.

      Staff members said the goal for the day was to learn about health in a fun way.

      "The kids are our number one priority. If they're not having fun, we're not doing something right,?? Boys and Girls Club staff member Ashton Tillman said.

      The program will run until August.