All HISD students can get free breakfast, lunch and dinner during the 2018-2019 school year

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018
All students at HISD now qualify for free breakfast, lunch and dinner.
All students at HISD now qualify for free breakfast, lunch and dinner.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In three weeks Houston ISD students will be back in school and guaranteed a free breakfast, lunch, and dinner as part of their education.

The school district announced all students, at every campus are now eligible for three meals a day, at no charge.

This is certainly a financial load off so many parents, but even bigger than that, giving every student the same food at no cost eliminates the stigma for students who used to qualify for free or reduced meals.

Every HISD campus is now covered by a federal program called the Community Eligibility Provision, run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It reimburses school districts with high poverty rates so schools can hand out free food.

"Now we're going to be reimbursed for it and reimbursed at the higher rate than what a paid meal was. The paid meal was $2.50 now the government is giving us $3.30," said Betti Wiggins, HISD Nutrition Services Officer.

Wiggins says the extra money the district will actually bring in will go towards higher quality foods without additives and antibiotics.

Low-income families will no longer have to complete the free and reduced food application, however, all parents will complete a socioeconomic information form. That information will be used to determine how much HISD is reimbursed.

HISD tells us 87 percent of their students were already qualified for this federal program last year and that Houston is considered a high-poverty area.

For more information on the program, visit the Houston ISD website.