Category Archives: Nutrition Services

HISD asking parents to complete socioeconomic form

The Houston Independent School District will provide free breakfast and lunch to students at no charge for the 2018-2019 school year, but parents will need to fill out a new form to ensure Title I funding for HISD schools.

All HISD schools are now qualified to operate under the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Community Eligibility Provision, which allows HISD to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner at no charge to all students, eliminating the need for free and reduced-price meal applications.

While parents will not need to complete and return a free and reduced-price meal application, they will need to complete a socioeconomic form (see below), known as the blue form.

In order for campuses to receive their Title I funding, HISD is still required to collect and report the socioeconomic status of each students to the Texas Education Agency. Continue reading

HISD to provide meals to students at no charge for 2018-2019 school year

Parents of Houston Independent School District students soon will have one less expense, as Nutrition Services has announced that all students will eat meals at no charge during the 2018-2019 school year.

All HISD schools are now qualified to operate under the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Community Eligibility Provision, which allows HISD to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner at no charge to all students, eliminating the need for free and reduced-price meal applications.

The program allows the nation’s highest poverty schools and districts to serve meals at no cost to all enrolled students without collecting household applications. Schools are eligible for the program if they have a certain percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced meals based on their participation in programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Continue reading

HISD to host Back to School Extravaganza

HISD’s Homeless Education Office will host a Back to School Extravaganza on Friday, Aug. 17 to help students get ready for the 2018-2019 school year.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Delmar Stadium (2020 Mangum Road 77092).

Free assistance will be available for Medicaid applications, Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) renewal and recertification, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Health screenings also will be available. Continue reading

HISD wins national award for crisis communications during Hurricane Harvey  

District wins 5 NSPRA Golden Achievement Awards and multiple honors for print and digital communications 

The Houston Independent School District Communications team was honored for its crisis communications to families, staff, and the community during Hurricane Harvey – the worst disaster in Houston history – with a Golden Achievement Award from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA).

HISD’s Communications team, under the direction of Chief Communications Officer Rebecca Suarez, worked day and night to keep families and the public informed before, during, and after Hurricane Harvey. In addition to local communications efforts, the team also facilitated the dissemination of information on a state and national level.

“Harvey did not stop us, but it made us stronger. Despite the difficulties from the hurricane, we found creative ways to communicate critical and timely information to our students, parents, employees, and the community during one of the worst disasters in local history,” Suarez said. “I’m very proud of my team for the hard work and commitment to putting students first in everything we do.”

Golden Achievement Awards recognize exemplary work in all aspects of school public relations, communication, marketing, and engagement. HISD won a total of five Golden Achievement Awards for the following work:  Continue reading

HISD ‘Get Growing Houston’ school garden program awarded grant from USDA 

The Houston Independent School District has been awarded a $67,395 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the district’s “Get Growing Houston” program.

Part of the USDA’s Farm to School Program, the grant will enable HISD’s Nutrition Services department to expand the program to 15 additional schools, which will be selected in the fall.

The program was piloted during the 2017-2018 school year in four elementary schools: Hobby, Shearn, Gallegos, and Cook.

“Get Growing Houston” uses an interdisciplinary approach to teach elementary school students about the importance of healthy foods and good nutrition through the creation and cultivation of school gardens.

“Once students feel the ownership of the garden, their preferences and willingness to try the produce they grew increases,” HISD Food Literacy Dietitian Julia Jarrell said. “It also opens the discussion to the benefits of a healthy diet, agriculture and cultural preferences, and exposure to other people’s relationship with foods.”   Continue reading

Nutrition Services provides good food with everlasting knowledge at ‘Camp Lit’

Equipped with planters, soil, and seeds, HISD’s Nutrition Services workers had all hands-on deck as they taught nearly 9,000 elementary and middle school students various ways to dig into good nutrition.

The day’s festivities were a part of Camp Lit, a two-day festival designed to promote literacy throughout the district. Gathered in the parking lot of Delmar Fieldhouse, students participated in outdoor tailgate-themed literacy games hosted by various district departments, sponsors, and partners.  Continue reading

Milby HS team takes second place in national Cooking up Change competition

What do you get when you combine chicken, zucchini, pinto beans, bananas, and yogurt?

You get the menu that snagged second place in the national Cooking up Change contest held this week at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

The Broadway Buffs of Milby High School — made up of students Roberto Blas, Jordyn Moore, and Esteven Mata — beat out four teams from Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and Troy, Ala., to bring home the second-place trophy. The team from Orange County took top honors. Continue reading

Nutrition Services LEAD program graduates inaugural class

After eight weeks of rigorous classroom and on-site training, four former food service attendants are now prepared to lead and manage their own school cafeterias.

Stephanie Aguilar, Alma Dominguez, Neco Manning, and Tameco Williams are the first graduates of Nutrition Services’ LEAD — Leadership, Education And Development — Program.

The comprehensive training initiative is designed to provide school cafeteria workers with the in-depth knowledge and skills needed to advance to the next level in their career and become a team lead responsible for managing cafeteria operations. Continue reading

Free summer meals to be offered at nearly 200 HISD schools 

The Houston Independent School District is formally kicking off its Summer Meal Program on June 6 at more than 190 area schools, where breakfast and lunch will be served for free to children ages 1 to 18.

Children do not need to be enrolled in summer school to participate in the program, and no paperwork, registration, or proof of income is required. Adults may purchase breakfast for $2.25 and lunch for $3.75.

Specific serving times vary by campus. Meals will be served at most campuses Mondays through Thursdays from June 6 to July 3, though some campuses are extending the program until later in July and others are serving meals on Fridays. A map detailing when and where meals are being served is online. Parents are encouraged to call the site before they go to confirm serving times.

All HISD meals are nutritionally balanced to ensure children receive the vitamins and nutrients needed to maintain a healthy diet. Last summer, HISD Nutrition Services served more than 1.1 million free meals to Houston-area children.

If you have questions about the free summer meals program, contact HISD’s Nutrition Services department at 713-556-2979.

For information on where to find free meals after the program ends, contact the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department at 713-676-6832 or dial 2-1-1.

 

Employee bidding farewell after 45 years with Nutrition Services

Nutrition Services’ longest serving employee, go-to historian, and source of knowledge for all things food services is retiring in a few short weeks, after 45 years of service.

Charlotte Blocker serves as the executive administrative assistant to Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins and is known for her positive attitude, witty humor, and friendly demeanor.

“It doesn’t seem like I’ve been here that long,” Blocker said. Continue reading