HISD will serve meals free of charge to students all year, thanks to a combination of waivers and programs at the state and federal level.
HISD serves free breakfast in the classroom all year long, but support for the morning meal will also come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Agriculture until Sept. 30. The departments will also help HISD serve lunch free of charge to the one-third of HISD students not already covered by the Community Eligibility Program. Earlier this year, HISD certified 191 schools to participate in the Community Eligibility Program and receive free breakfast and lunch.
The district will work with both the USDA and TDA to gain additional guidance on extending their support beyond Sept. 30.
In addition, the district’s application to offer free supper to all the students was recently approved by the Texas Department of Agriculture. Each principal will work with nutrition services to decide how the free supper program will be offered on their campus.
“The flooding that is affecting the city of Houston has been devastating to so many. Some of the areas that are the hardest hit are filled with working parents whose limited funds will need to go toward recovery efforts. Free school meals will give our families one less concern as they begin the process of restoring their lives” said Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. “We will work closely with the USDA and TDA to ensure the provision is extended as necessary.”
HISD is still asking parents and guardians to complete and return the application. The National School Lunch/School Breakfast Program applications and surveys are available at https://mealapps.houstonisd.org. The information received in the forms helps the district to secure funding and track student data.
“It will take months, possibly years for the city to recover. We expect families to be displaced, students to attend new schools, and many of them possibly using alternative ways to travel to and from school,” said Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins. “We want to reduce any stress connected to food while families work toward getting their personal affairs in order. All HISD students will have access to good food, made with as many local and fresh ingredients as possible and served with love and a smile.”