Ready for SUMMER!!!

Howdy Hunger Busters! We are ecstatic for summer to finally be here and I know the kids are, too (parents, maybe not so much…).

Summer is one of our busiest times for programs and camps, and it’s also my (Rachel’s) favorite season for produce. I know I said that about Spring, but I can have two favorites, right? 😉 Speaking of produce, it’s time to see what we’re recommending!

Summer Produce:

Apricots, bell peppers, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe/musk melons, cherries, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, honeydew melon, kiwi, lima beans, mangos, nectarines, okra, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries, summer squash & zucchini, tomatillos, tomatoes, watermelon, and more!

During the summer, cooling off quickly becomes a priority-especially in Southeast Texas! One of my favorite things to cool off with is a nice, cold gazpacho. It’s super simple to make, then you store it in your fridge, no heating up required!

Rachel’s Watermelon Gazpacho

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of seedless watermelon chunks
  • 2 cups of seedless watermelon, diced
  • 2 cups of diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup of cranberry juice cocktail
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • Large pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup of diced red onion
  • 1 cup of diced cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons of cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley
  • Olive oil for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, put in the 4 cups of watermelon chunks, 2 cups of diced tomatoes, 1/3 cup of cranberry juice, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and pinch of salt.
  2. Blend until desired texture, then transfer to large bowl.
  3. Add in 2 cups of diced watermelon, ¼ cup of red onion, 1 cup of diced cucumber, 2 tbsp. of cilantro and parsley, stir.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to overnight to let flavors blend.
  5. Serve cold with a splash of olive oil for garnish.

What a great way to cool off and stay healthy! This is a great recipe for diabetics, too.

I also wanted to go over some Summer Safety Tips so that we can all stay active in the heat of summer, but be safe as well.

  • When going into heavily wooded areas, dress in long sleeves and pull your socks over your pants. Tick bites can get very serious. Use tick/bug repellent, stay on the path, and avoid heavily bushy areas. When you get home, do tick checks on all family members!
  • Wear a helmet. When biking, rollerblading, skating, riding scooters or skateboards (or longboards) and more. This goes for you too, parents!
  • Around water, there must be 100% adult supervision! No child or adult is “drown proof.” Do not run in extremely wet areas, and avoid using sharp utensils and glass in pool areas.
  • Sun safety is most important! Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Avoid being out during peak UV ray hours: 10am-5pm. If you play outside during the day, find a shady spot to play. Wear sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats to avoid face exposure, but be sure to use that sunscreen on your face, too. At least spf 30!
  • Parents: KEEP CHILDREN HYDRATED! Don’t wait for them to say they’re thirsty, make sure you have more than enough water bottles or sports drinks on hand. Heat-related illnesses are not forgiving.

The Food Bank is super busy this summer supporting Summer Feeding Programs, running Kid’s Cooking Camps, and preparing a new program we are planning to begin this fall. Although I can’t share details right now, look forward to the coming announcements of how to help our kids programs! We’ll need lots of volunteers and community involvement which is a great way to breed healthy communities.

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next month for some July 4th fun!

Dial 2-1-1 for free, bilingual information and referrals for food assistance and other health and human services.

The mission of the Texas WIC (Women, Infants & Children) program is to improve the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk.

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Did you know that a $10 donation can help provide up to 40 meals for desperate people in your community? Rest assured, that every penny of your donation will be stretched to it’s maximum effect. By making a donation, you are helping to ensure that hungry children in Southeast Texas are adequately nourished, that none of our senior citizens are forced to chose between medicine and food, and that every family facing a crisis can at least have the assurance of food on the table.

Your gift goes a long, long way!

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