Free meals until Dec. 17


Sean Bess

Students take advantage of free meals given until Dec. 17

Anuoluwa Asubiojo

All MISD students are able to receive free lunch and breakfast meals every school day for the rest of the semester.

“The free meals are being made possible due to waivers placed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will extend the free summer meals program to ensure all children have access to nutritious food,” Director of Student Nutrition Rita Denton said.

The no-cost meals will be offered until Dec. 17.

“Changes in federal funding by the USDA for School Nutrition programs established the free meals,” Denton said. “The meals are reimbursed at a set rate by the federal government.”

This promotion applies to in-person learners at all campuses, Virtual Academy students and younger siblings.

“The more we serve, the better for the financial health of the department and the better it is for overall access and quality of ingredients for our kids,” Denton said.

Virtual learners can pick up their meals at one of 13 locations, including Thelma Jones Elementary School. Students can also walk or bike up.

“We will offer a daily public curbside service that the community and virtual learners may access from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.,” Denton said.

The cash register in the cafeteria is still available.

“The cafe staff will ring up each person to view allergens, alerts, and in order to ring up extra sales,” Denton said.

The free option is the same school food usually available. 

“It’s the exact menu items (as before),” Denton said. “High school students are allowed to take one tray of protein, grain, two fruits, two veggies and milk for free.” 

Junior Malia Villanueva said she is glad that those who are in need will get the opportunity for free food.

“It’s better because more kids can eat food (now) who actually need it,” she said.

Since many are laid off from their jobs because of COVID-19, the free meals are helpful.

Junior Sumaya Ahmed said, “I’m actually pretty happy that it’s free because there’s less stress on my parents to pay for school lunch especially with how hard 2020 has been.”