“There are no applications for students and families,” MFISD Superintendent Dr. Chris Allen said. “Students just need to walk through the line for a regular lunch for free and do the same for the breakfast. Whether a family can afford to pay or not, it doesn’t matter.”
These meals are offered through the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, both federal programs.
The MFISD board of trustees approved adopting the plan to provide free breakfasts and lunches during a special meeting Aug. 12.
Under the programs, the district will be reimbursed for 78 percent of the meals served.
“So if 100 kids go through the line, we’re essentially absorbing the cost of 22 students,” Allen said. “But we have a la cart lines for Gatorade, chips, bottled water, things like that. And sometimes, kids order an extra hamburger or an extra slice of pizza.”
Those extra items, which students must pay for themselves, will go toward covering the district’s part of the free meal costs, Allen said.
“Those sales will offset the difference,” he added. “So families that can afford to give their kids some money for bottled water, Gatorade, or a bag of chips, that’ll provide the revenue we need.”
Allen recognized the district’s Child Nutrition Services, which spent months combing through the requirements and completing applications for the federal program, he said.
The free meals will be a boost for families struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This gets us all in the same position to support families as we all come together,” he added. “We’re thrilled to be able to take care of families.”