ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Beginning Nov. 2, every student in the Round Rock Independent School District will receive breakfast and lunch at no charge for the rest of the school year.
Round Rock ISD applied for a waiver issued nationwide by the U.S Department of Agriculture. The waiver lets summer meal options continue throughout the 2020-21 school year.
Free meals will be offered to all on-campus and virtual learning students. Additionally, any child age 18 and under may also pick up a free breakfast and lunch at any of the curbside locations during meal distribution.
“The biggest financial hit I’ve taken during COVID has really been additional food,” said Round Rock Parent Shelia Kieser. “This program means we’ll save $1.40 every day.”
Being a single and working mom, Kieser relies on reduced lunch, but that still costs money. Round Rock’s free meals for all comes as a breath of fresh air.
“Over the course of a month I can save a few tanks of gas,” said Kieser.
The district will continue its curbside meal distribution for virtual learners and children under 18 until further notice. Meal service time will remain from 7–8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Starting Nov. 2, curbside meal distribution sites are:
- Round Rock High School, 201 Deep Wood Dr., Round Rock
- Cedar Ridge High School, 2801 Gattis School Rd., Round Rock
- Stony Point High School, 1801 Tiger Trail, Round Rock
- Westwood High School, 12400 Mellow Meadow Dr., Austin
- McNeil High School, 5720 McNeil Dr., Austin
- Deerpark Middle School, 8849 Anderson Mill Rd., Austin
- C.D. Fulkes Middle School, 300 W Anderson Ave., Round Rock
- Hopewell Middle School, 1535 Gulf Way, Round Rock
- Walsh Middle School, 3850 Walsh Ranch Blvd., Round Rock
As a result of the waiver approved by the U.S Department of Agriculture, children are no longer required to be present to receive a meal. However, parents or guardians must provide proof of attendance for each student.
Round Rock ISD’s Food Service Director says the district will submit a monthly claim to the USDA, which will detail how many meals were distributed.
“I’m hoping the demand increases for the meals. We are prepared to serve double the meals compared to what we are currently service,” said Yana Koleva, Food Service Director.
Right now Round Rock is servicing 30% of students that are on campus as well as curbside for virtual learners, which comes out to about 10,000 meals. Koleva hopes this program will double that number.
“On a typical day of a normal school year, we serve 30,000 students,” said Koleva.
Students won’t be confined to just one specific option; the schools offer several meal choices. It’s all in an effort to give stuffing families one less worry.
“A lot of people have taken a hit. It’s a lot easier for them to do something across the board then for parents to apply for state programs,” said Kieser.
According to RRISD, acceptable methods of proof include an official letter or email from the school confirming the child’s enrollment as well as student report cards, attendance records, birth certificates or student ID cards.
Although meal service will be at no cost for the remainder of the school year, the district is encouraging families to still submit the application for the Free and Reduced meal program.
Meal distribution sites will not be open on breaks and holidays already scheduled by the district.