SAN ANGELO, Texas — Starting this week, any San Angelo child aged 18 or under will be able to have a free breakfast and lunch this fall semester.
“We have a 60% free and reduced population in our district, which is pretty significant when you look at that,” said Tiffani Hebert, Assistant Director of Child Nutrition for the San Angelo Independent School District.
Starting this week on October 1, 2020, every student in San Angelo ISD schools will be eligible to receive free breakfast and lunch for the rest of the fall semester.
The meals will be an extension of the USDA “Summer Food Service Program” that normally runs through June.
“We had emergency funding from COVID that ran through June for us this year, so we’re getting to have pieces of that funding back for the school year. That’s not just us, that’s statewide,” explained Hebert.
The funding will allow more than 14,000 San Angelo school children to receive free meals, and will expand outside the district and into the community.
“We had about 8,600 students as of September 5th that qualified already for free or reduced meals. The other 5,400 didn’t qualify under that program. What’s wonderful is that 40% of students will now be eligible for free or reduced benefits, where they didn’t qualify under that program. We’re going from a 60% to a 100% for all 14,000 plus students in the district,” added Hebert, “The great thing is that any child that’s 18 or under, whether they’re enrolled or not, whether they’re two years old and not even in school, they’re eligible to come to one of our sites to get a free meal.”
For SAISD students attending school in-person, the process for receiving breakfast and lunch while on campus will not change. Students will not be charged for regular breakfast or lunch menu items. However, a la carte items will not be included in the free meal program and will still be available for purchase.
Children not attending an SAISD school in-person, including those in the SAISD Virtual Academy, can pick up “grab-and-go” curbside meals each weekday between 1:00 – 1:35 pm at the following locations:
Lake View High School – 900 E. 43rd
Lee Middle School – 2500 Sherwood Way
Austin Elementary – 700 N. Van Buren
Bowie Elementary – 3700 Forest Trail
Crockett Elementary – 2104 Johnson
Fannin Elementary – 1702 Wilson
Glenmore Elementary – 323 Penrose
Holiman Elementary – 1900 Ricks Drive
Children do not need to be present to receive a meal. Meals may be picked up at any of the San Angelo ISD schools listed above. Your child does not need to attend one of the listed sites to receive the free meal. Parents will no longer need to pre-order meals through SchoolCafe and the online ordering system through SchoolCafe will be shut down for the duration of this program.
To pick up grab-and-go meals:
- Select a San Angelo ISD school listed above for pick-up
- Drive up to the back door of the kitchen and remain in your vehicle
- If children are present in the vehicle, a member of the SAISD Child Nutrition team will deliver enough meals for the number of children in your vehicle
- If children are not present in the vehicle, a member of the SAISD Child Nutrition team will request the following information for each child you are picking up a meal for:
- Report card or letter of attendance from their home school which contains a student ID
- Birth certificate for any student not currently enrolled in any school or is of preschool age
According to Hebert, the meals will benefit both children and parents.
“A hungry child can’t focus and learn. The more students we can provide nutritious meals for, the better. It also helps relieve some financial burdens from parents,” continued Hebert.
The free meals will be available through the fall semester (December 18, 2020) or until funding runs out.
Hebert recommends SAISD parents fill out a free/reduced lunch form for their students anyway, to see if they are eligible before the meal program ends. Click here to fill out a form.