EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso Independent School District will provide free meals to any child ages 1 to 18 starting on Monday, Sept. 21.
According to EPISD, new rules from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow the District to hand out free breakfast and lunch to any child regardless of their enrollment status or residence. Officials said the new rules will also mean that parents who have children enrolled in different campuses will now be able to pick up meals at one location instead of traveling to each of the schools in which they’re enrolled.
“We are thankful to the USDA for allowing us to continue to provide healthful meals to any child who may need it,” said Laura Duran, EPISD’s Director of Nutrition Services. “The new rules make our breakfast and lunch services available to thousands of additional students, and it makes the pick-up of take-home meals much more convenient for our busy parents.”
EPISD said that the children do not need to be present in order to receive the meals. However, parents or guardians will have to present one of the following documents for verification:
- Officials document from any school to demonstrate enrollment.
- Report card.
- Birth certificate.
- Student ID card.
Parents who pick up meals for their children will be given a verification card at the campus and will be required to pick up all meals at that campus from then on.
According to EPISD, every school will have a curbside distribution of breakfast and hot lunch meals from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday. EPISD said that the curbside schedule could change once in-person instruction begins.
Meals for Saturdays and Sundays will be distributed every Friday starting Oct. 2, EPISD said. No meals will be distributed during intersession, holidays, or the Thanksgiving Break.
To view updated menus, visit the EPISD Food Services by clicking here.
“It is our goal to provide nutritious meals to as many children as possible during these difficult times,” Duran said. “We know the challenges in learning are even more present right because of the pandemic, and we want to eliminate any concern about food that may exist among our families.”