The Houston Independent School District will provide free breakfast and lunch to students for the 2019-2020 school year, but parents will need to fill out a new form to ensure Title I funding for HISD schools.
All HISD schools are 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.
A child research and advocacy organization has recognized Nutrition Services as a top five food delivery district in the state of Texas.
Children at Risk ranked HISD fourth among large school districts in the state based on its record of providing daily meals to children in need, especially its school breakfast program, which allows schools to serve students breakfast in their classroom before starting the school day.
The organization measured the participation rate of school nutrition programs across districts based on data provided by the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Education Agency.
Application available online and at all HISD campuses for 2016-17 academic year
The Houston Independent School District announced its policy today for providing free and reduced-price meals for children served under the attached current income eligibility guidelines. Each school/site or the central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by anyone on request.
Starting on Aug. 22, 2016, the Houston Independent School District will begin distributing letters to the households of the children in the district about eligibility benefits and any actions households need to take to apply for these benefits. Applications also are available at the HISD Nutrition Services Support Facility and all HISD schools.
TDA Lead Monitors Kelly Craig and Sally Page sign the preliminary review report to Nutrition Services Senior Administrator Audene Chung.
HISD’s Nutrition Services Department was praised recently by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) as a “role model” for other districts after achieving a near-perfect score on an administrative review.
The preliminary review debriefing took place on Feb. 26, and Nutrition Services was praised for its efforts to provide HISD students with the best school meals in the state.
Kennedy ES students enjoy a pizza party after achieving 100-percent participation in HISD’s school breakfast program.
HISD’s Nutrition Services Department is supporting students in achieving high scores on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) by working with schools to adapt, promote, and reinvigorate their meal programs for the upcoming testing season.
The department launched a friendly competition on Feb. 10 to see which schools could increase their on-campus meal consumption by students by at least three percent. The School Meal Challenge, which runs through April 4, is designed to improve students’ academic performance and health by encouraging children to eat district-provided breakfast and lunch.
Only about 700 — or less than one percent — of HISD students have special dietary needs that require restricted diets, but providing those children with healthy, nourishing food is all in a day’s work for HISD’s Nutrition Services department.
Dietitian Lindsay Smith works closely with nurses and kitchen staff to monitor students who need allergen-free meals, and HISD as a district eliminated all peanut and tree-nut products from its recipes two years ago as a precaution, to prevent accidental allergic reactions.
Food Research and Action Center awards Nutrition Services $64,000 grant
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) has awarded HISD’s Nutrition Services department $64,000 to expand the First Class Breakfast program in HISD high schools. The grant will ensure that students at eight high schools get a nutritious, free breakfast every school day.
A 2012 HISD study reported better academic performance, behavior, and attendance in schools that served breakfast. Nutrition Services Director of Operations Odell Warren explained how beneficial the program is to helping students stay focused in class.
Nutrition Services representatives Jennifer Lengyel, Amanda Oceguera, Audene Chung, Kasandra Davis, Lindsay Pollino, and Nan Cramer (L-R) pose with the award.
HISD’s Nutrition Services department was recently recognized for completing the Local Products Challenge during School Breakfast Week 2015.
Each year, the Texas Department of Agriculture challenges schools to use more Texas products in the meals they serve during National School Breakfast Week and recognizes those who complete the challenge.
HISD served four menu items that were locally sourced, including skim and 1% milk, apple juice, and cinnamon toast.
“We are very proud to receive this recognition,” said Amanda Oceguera, Nutrition Services manager. ”HISD Nutrition Services is committed to serving local products in our schools.”
This was the district’s second year of recognition. HISD Nutrition Services was also presented with a certificate for completing the local products challenge last year.
Food service vendors interested in learning more about business opportunities with the Houston Independent School District and meeting potential partners are encouraged to attend a networking event from 3 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 19.
The event, sponsored by the district’s Business Assistance team for Supplier Diversity, will be held at HISD’s Food Services Administration building at 6801 Bennington, Room 1112. District officials will be on hand to answer questions about HISD’s meal programs, the procurement process and paperwork requirements.
Superintendent of Schools Terry Grier recently told the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) about HISD’s First Class Breakfast Program, and how it is improving the district’s attendance rates.
“Kids that are not hungry, they behave better and there’s no question that they also learn at a higher level,” Grier said.