The Thanksgiving holiday means public school students in Denton, Sanger and Krum are off for the week.
For many families in need of food and child care assistance, a five-day holiday is a hardship. But local organizations and the Denton Parks & Recreation Department have some help to offer.
Thanks to the coordination between Denton ISD campus counselors and Lovepacs Denton, nearly 1,000 students will have meals through the school holiday. Lovepacs is a nonprofit that brings food to local children.
The nonprofit mobilized an initiative for this week — Adopt a Box, aimed at bringing two meals and one snack each day from Monday through Black Friday.
“For this week, we served 35 campuses in Denton, and 845 kids,” said Becca Burris, chapter co-lead of Lovepacs Denton. “We work with each campus individually. Each month, the counselors tell us how many boxes [of food] they need for the month.”
Lovepacs doesn’t have eligibility requirements. Campus counselors keep tabs on students dealing with homelessness or food and clothing insecurity.
Lovepacs Denton has been “overwhelmed” with donations, but Burris said that’s a good thing.
“Someone told us the other day that we seemed overwhelmed with donations, and it’s true, but that’s a positive thing for us. I tell people that we need to fill and empty our shelves three times to serve those 845 students,” Burris said.
The local nonprofit is preparing for the winter holidays, which close schools for the two weeks. Donors have a menu of options to support local children living with food insecurity: They can donate cash, donate shelf-stable food or “adopt” a box to fill and return it to a Lovepacs collection location or pantry by Dec. 5. Lovepacs’ pantry is located at 719 Wainwright St.
For families who need child care Tuesday and Wednesday this week, Denton Parks & Recreation has all-day holiday camps for children and teens. Ages 5 to 10 can meet at the Denton Civic Center, 321 E. McKinney St., for a trip to Mike Lewis Park in Grand Prairie in the morning and a trip to the International Bowling Museum in Arlington in the afternoon. Tuesday’s camp is open for walk-ins, but space will be limited.
Registration is open now for Wednesday’s camp, which includes a trip to Eureka playground and an afternoon tour of Texas Motor Speedway. Camp hours are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the program costs $33 daily per camper.
An all-day camp for ages 11 to 15 will travel to the same locations Tuesday and Wednesday, as well. Walk-ups are welcome, but space is limited.
Additionally, the city is offering all-day holiday camps for children and teens for the winter break, Dec. 19-23, Dec. 26-29 and Jan. 2.