Sunday, September 19, 2021

Some local districts offering free meals to all students

Some local school districts will be offering free meals this year to all of its students, regardless of their family’s income, while others will only make the free meals available to those eligible under standard rules.

The United States Department of Agriculture approved universal free breakfast and lunch to all children throughout the United States until the end of the 2021-2022 school year, an extension of the decision it made last year due to the pandemic. Typically, families would have to apply for free or reduced meals in the National School Lunch Program for their students, and their eligibility depending on their family’s income.

Denton and Lewisville ISDs are offering the maximum benefit of free breakfast and lunch for all students. Families don’t have to fill out the NSLP form to receive the free meals, but both districts “are still strongly encouraging our families to complete the form for free and reduced lunch, because there are many other district-level benefits they may qualify for, such as reduced fees in several areas,” said a Lewisville ISD spokesperson.

In Argyle ISD, all students in 5th grade and under can get free breakfast and lunch throughout the school year, regardless of income, according to a district news release. Free and reduced-price meals will remain available to students in grades 6-12 based on eligibility. Argyle Middle and High schools do not participate in the NSLP, so those campuses are not offering the free meals to all students.

Northwest ISD is “not participating in the waiver … but instead will use the standard NSLP, ” district spokespeople said. All NISD students will have to complete the NSLP form and be eligible to receive free meals.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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