Some good Harvey news: Houston ISD students can get 3 free meals per day this school year

The only good thing about a once-in-a-lifetime tragedy is the once-in-a-lifetime goodness of people pours out.

Students in Houston can apply to receive three free meals a day this school year. This is one of the lunches served in the Austin district. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman

Here’s some once-in-a-lifetime goodness that popped up today: In a state that is reluctant to support students who rely on free and reduced lunch, Houston ISD is now set to offer every student three free meals a day this school year. That’s millions of dollars of support for public schools that, in previous years, have been asking for more federal support for students in need in the form of free breakfast in the classroom, expanded reduced lunch and improved quality of ingredients.

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Should public schools outsource lunches to private companies?

Each morning, AISD serves a free breakfast to thousands of students throughout the city. In Houston, every student will be eligible for three free meals a day for the coming school year after Hurricane Harvey. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman

According to the Houston Chronicle, the Houston school district, which has more than 210,000 students, received approval on Wednesday from the Texas Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to let students apply for a waiver that could cover the cost of all three meals that a school serves each day. (Many schools offer a third meal for after-school programs, including tutoring and athletics.)

Austin ISD serves about 80,000 meals a day, but Houston’s largest school district has more than 210,000 students, all of whom can receive additional free meals this year as the city recovers from Hurricane Harvey. Ralph Barrera/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Families still have to apply for this waiver (click here for an application), but this news means that tens of thousands of parents can focus on putting their homes and lives back together with one less thing to worry about.

The politics of school lunch have subsided in the face of disaster, but Houston is about to become the largest free school breakfast and lunch test case in the country. We’ll get to see what happens when students get fed during the day, no matter how much money their parents make.

 

 

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