HOUSTON – July 26, 2018 – Students at 31 district schools this year will be able to eat both breakfast and lunch for free, thanks to the expansion of a federal program.
Providing meals at no charge at participating campuses is made possible through the Community Eligibility Provision, which last year operated at only six district schools. All schools already serve breakfast for free but with the expansion of CEP, students at the 31 participating campuses will also get free lunch, regardless of income.
“Parents will not have to complete a free and reduced application at those participating campuses,” said Kevin Truong, assistant director of child nutrition. “They do not have to worry about making sure their child has lunch money.”
Other benefits include less time for students in cashier lines and more time to eat nutritious meals. In determining which schools are eligible to participate in the CEP, the federal government considers data on income and poverty collected through other sources.
The coming school year will bring some exciting changes to school menus with the addition of several new items, including Greek Turkey Pitas at the secondary level and toasted ham and cheese sliders with broccoli cheese soup at the elementary level.
All the recipes making their debut were developed to meet federal nutrition standards and please the palates of students, who were consulted through taste tests. Besides the daily menu, students may also purchase additional snacks and beverages a la carte. Menus and pricing are available on the district website but also at www.SchoolCafe.com, which offers complete nutritional information and an easy way for parents to manage their child’s lunch account.
Here’s a list of the 2018-19 new menu items:
- Greek Turkey Pita – A soft pita stuffed with shredded turkey, cucumbers, and tomatoes; with homemade Tzatziki sauce, middle and high schools;
- New Bistro to-go Meal boxes, middle and high schools;
- South American style baked plantains, all schools;
- Toasted ham and cheese slider with broccoli cheese soup, elementary schools; and
- Breakfast smoothies, middle and high schools.
Truong noted that while students at the 31 CEP campuses won’t have to fill out free and reduced price meal applications, they will still be asked to return a household income survey. That data is important to ensure the district is eligible to participate in other federal funding programs.
At nonparticipating campuses, parents will need to turn in a free and reduced price meal application, available on the district’s website. Eligibility for free and reduced price meals is based on federally established income and household size guidelines.
Remember, all schools offer free breakfast to all students. Here’s the list of schools that will offer both free breakfast and lunch this year:
Elementary: Anderson, Bammel, Beneke, Booker, Burchett, Clark Intermediate, Clark Primary, Cooper, Eickenroht, Heritage, Hirsch, Hoyland, Jenkins, Lewis, Link, Major, Marshall, McNabb, Meyer, Ponderosa, Reynolds, Salyers, Smith and Thompson
Middle Schools: Bailey, Bammel, Claughton, Dueitt, Wells
High Schools: Dekaney, Westfield