AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo ISD will begin providing free meals to all students, regardless of income, for the remainder of the school year. Starting Monday, November 2, students, both on campus and practicing remote learning, can receive a free breakfast and lunch from their home campus.
Students on campus will be served during breakfast and lunch times, while those students participating in class remotely can pick up a breakfast and lunch meal Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. while school is in session. Meals will not be provided on snow days or holidays. Locations for remote pick-up are specific for each school, but will generally be available at cafeteria loading docks.
“There are numerous studies that show students who eat nutritious meals on a daily basis perform better in school,” said Matthew Buck, AISD Resident District Manager for Child Nutrition/Chartwells, “not only that, providing these healthy meals at no cost to all helps alleviate stress families and students may be experiencing. It’s one less thing they need to worry about, especially with the pandemic going on.”
Parents who wish to pick up meals without their children present must provide physical or digital documentation that their child is a student at Amarillo ISD. Accepted documentation includes: progress report, school library card, a school enrollment letter and/or communication from the Food Service Department, such as an email. Parents will be asked to provide this documentation every time they pick up meals.
While no additional paperwork or documentation is required for students to pick up their own meals, students are asked to go through the cash register as a way to continue tracking food allergies.
Additionally, 10 schools in the District are also providing free meals to any child in the community under 18, even if they aren’t a student with AISD. From 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, community members can pick up breakfast and lunch from Austin Middle School, Caprock High School, Eastridge, Emerson, Humphrey’s Highland, Ridgecrest, Rogers, San Jacinto, South Lawn and Wills Elementary.
If the child is not from AISD, the child must be present when parents pick up a meal.
Despite the free lunches, families are still asked to continue filling out meal applications to help secure funding for other programs, maintain accountability, etc.
Funding for this program comes from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Agriculture which allows schools to continue summer eating programs throughout the end of the school year.