Temple ISD welcomes new meal program for the upcoming school year

No application required, students in Temple ISD eat breakfast and lunch for free
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 6:07 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - Roughly 8.4% of American children are considered to be food insecure, meaning these households struggle to afford nutritious meals for their children.

With the first day of school less than a month away, Central Texas schools are stepping up to make sure no stomach goes hungry.

Right here in Texas, 1 in 5 kids are deemed food insecure, not knowing where their next meal will come from.

This can cause children to perform less than their best in their academics as well as make it harder for them to retain the information.

“If you don’t have a full stomach, it’s hard for you to concentrate. There are studies that show that food insecurity is directly related to how well children perform in schools,” said Executive Director of Caritas, Ann Owen.

Waco ISD and now Temple ISD have adopted the Community Eligibility Provision.

Also known as CEP, meals are completely free for those under the age of 18.

Unlike previous programs, CEP doesn’t require an application or proof of income meaning everyone qualifies.

“There’s no application necessary. You show up, you’re going to get a breakfast. You show up for lunch, you’re going to get a lunch,” said Temple ISD Director of School Nutrition, Ian Vestal.

Students will have the ability to choose meal options based on what is offered.

Fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins are all on the menu for the CEP meal program.

While it’s important for students to eat in general, what they’re eating is just as important.

“Those are things that are super important for development, for brain development, and overall health. The more nutritious the food you eat, the healthier your body is going to be,” said Owen.

After seeing a successful turnout for the seamless summer meal program, TISD is confident that the upcoming program will help decrease the number of children deemed food insecure.

“We feel pretty confident as a district that those food insecurities while the kids are in

School are going to be met,” said Vestal.

For Temple parents interested, you don’t have to do anything to ensure your child receives a free meal.

As long as they’re at school, they’ll be able to eat breakfast and lunch.

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