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Houston Students to Get Free Meals for a Year After Harvey

Houston Students to Get Free Meals for a Year After Harvey
(Mothy20/Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 01 September 2017 05:50 AM

Houston students will receive up to three free meals a day for the rest of the 2017-2018 school year, the school district announced Wednesday after receiving clearance from the U.S. and Texas Departments of Agriculture.

The USDA and the Texas Department of Agriculture agreed to waive the application process for the National School Lunch/Breakfast program for the Houston Independent School District to make the meals happen, KHOU-TV reported.

Houston has been heavily affected by floods during Hurricane Harvey over the past week, dumping record-setting amounts of water onto the country's fourth-largest city.

"The flooding that is affecting the city of Houston has been devastating to so many," Houston ISD superintendent Richard Carranza said in a statement on the district's website. "Some of the areas that are the hardest hit are filled with working parents whose limited funds will need to go toward recovery efforts.

"This waiver will give our families one less concern as they begin the process of restoring their lives. It will also provide a sense of normalcy by allowing students to have access to up to three nutritious meals each and every school day," Carranza continued.

HISD said in its statement earlier this year that 191 of its schools were cleared to participate in a program that gave 123,955 students access to free lunch and breakfast. Last week, the Texas Department of Agriculture allowed the district to serve free dinner to eligible district students as well.

"It will take months, possibly years for the city to recover," the district's nutrition services officer Betti Wiggins, said in the HISD statement. "We expect families to be displaced, students to attend new schools, and many of them possibly using alternative ways to travel to and from school.

"We want to reduce any stress connected to food while families work toward getting their personal affairs in order. All HISD students will have access to good food, made with as many local and fresh ingredients as possible and served with love and a smile," she continued.

HISD is the largest school district in Texas and seventh-largest in the nation, serving a total of 215,000 students, according to the district's website.

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Houston students will receive up to three free meals a day for the rest of the 2017-2018 school year, the school district announced Wednesday after receiving clearance from the U.S. and Texas Departments of Agriculture.
houston, students, free, meals, harvey
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2017-50-01
Friday, 01 September 2017 05:50 AM
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