Jocelyn Menjivar has four children who are and will be coming up through the Grand Prairie school district. "When looking at schools, Grand Prairie was one of the top school districts in DFW," she said. But she feels the district they so desired is letting children down. "It's not okay," Menjivar said. She's talking about a new school lunch policy for high school students. The district will no longer allow students to "charge" meals. view article arw

Volunteers come to Love and Care Ministry every six weeks to pack food for students. Tuesday they packed 420 bags for the 70 kids they feed. "A lot of students are food ensure and over the weekends its important that we send home food with them so that they can go to school and learn and have a full belly," said Sarah Burch, Taylor Elementary PTO President. view article arw

Ali Shepard starts each weekday at 8:30 a.m. with a free breakfast at G.W. Carver Middle School, preferring to eat the popular breakfast pizza or Pop-Tarts if he does not have enough time to eat a hot meal. The 11-year-old goes about the rest of his day, moving from class to class, until 4 p.m., when school lets out. Then he ambles toward the school cafeteria, the third time in a day he will enter the room, for the campus after-school program, where he receives another hot meal before tackling homework, playing games or doing Zumba with the other students. view article arw

On a recent evening, while fixing her two kids’ dinner, Tabitha Trudnak spoke about the lunches where her daughter attends school, and her confidence in the cleanliness of the cafeteria serving those meals. “I think they’re pretty clean,” I teach also, so I go in the cafeterias and they always seem to be really clean.” But is Tabitha’s trust deserved? view article arw

Yana Koleva, the interim food service director for Round Rock ISD, said the district has offered vegetarian options for a while now. However, she said interest has spiked from parents and students recently. "We're here to serve our community and students, so we try to incorporate as many [options] as we can into our menus," Koleva said.  view article arw

Independent school districts across Texas are facing a shortage of nutrition workers ranging from managers and cooks to servers. Some districts are having to get aggressive and creative in recruiting and retaining employees to make sure students are taken care of in the lunchroom. With student nutrition so important, it has become a top priority for many districts. view article arw

The West Texas Food Bank has partnered with Midland ISD to open its third and fourth food pantries in the district — one at Alamo Junior High and one at South Elementary. As the only elementary school to have a food pantry, South received its first round of equipment on Thursday, allowing the school to begin the process, while Alamo is set to open during the first week of February. view article arw

We all know bills can add up quickly. One couple lightened the load at Frost Elementary School in Georgetown. "They cleared out all lunch accounts,” said Principal Janet Mormon. She said grandparents of one of the students just paid off all of the negative balance lunch accounts, all $486.73 of it.  view article arw

The Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees on Monday approved a child nutrition employee referral incentive to help fill vacant positions. Aramark, the company LISD uses for food service, is short about 30 employees across the district. That's double the standard vacancy rate, said Alisha McDonald, child nutrition district manager, during last week's board work session.  view article arw

The Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved an initiative to provide an extra serving to students in the lunchroom. And they’ll do it free of charge. Child Nutrition Director Kam Bridgers presented her effort to provide more food options to students in the lunchroom through “share tables.” This process allows students to donate unwanted, unopened and non-hazardous food and beverages during meal services. Any menu item that is pre-packaged, unopened or has a peel can be placed on the share table. Some examples were milk, juice, fruit cup, yogurt, muffin and whole fruits. view article arw

El Paso and Ysleta ISD families affected by the ongoing government shutdown may be eligible for free and reduced-priced school meals. According to EPISD, parents can fill out a new meal application that reflects the current household income. view article arw

Every Christmas, the congregation of the Royse City First United Methodist Church donates its Christmas Eve offerings to charity. Last year, half of the donations went to a nonprofit and the other half to an elementary school down the street, to help cover the cost of school lunches for families that had fallen behind in payments. That was Christmas 2017. The following year, Pastor Chris Everson went to the church board to ask about taking the tradition a step further. view article arw

My name is: Sheryl A. Wittenbach, I volunteer at: Pine Tree ISD for Literacy Army and the Backpack Food Program. view article arw

This year, Banquete Independent School District students will be receiving a free dinner every day before they even head home from school. It's all part of a program launched by the district with the help of Be a Champion, a nonprofit based out of Houston. Every single student will enjoy a meal at no cost thanks to the program. view article arw

The US Department of Agriculture and the Ysleta Independent School District have teamed up to make sure every child is well nourished. School started back Tuesday, and for some who don't have the recourses they need to put a nutritious meal on the table going back to school can be stressful. Every school year families are asked to fill out a household income sheet and if they don't earn enough money the school will provide the child with a free lunch. If the majority of students at the school qualify then every student benefits and receives a free lunch. In Y-I-S-D alone, there are about 32 schools that qualify. view article arw

Looking at Frisco’s relentless winning streak, it’s tempting to christen it utopia on the tollway. Most folks are sucked into the North Texas boomtown by word of mouth — about its schools, its housing options, its sports opportunities and its neighborliness. Everything looks bright and shiny in Frisco. As demographics expert Pat Guseman recently told The Dallas Morning News, Frisco and Disney World have a lot in common — each element new and perfectly planned. view article arw

North Texas has no shortage of trendy restaurants. One of the hottest spots in Mansfield might be a surprise because of where it is and who is running the show. It was just after 10 a.m., and things were starting to get a little wild inside the kitchen. “No mayo, tomatoes on side, crispy fish, fries, ketchup on side,” said Emily Castleberry. view article arw

Elementary campuses across Frisco ISD completed the annual 21-Day Healthy Snack Challenge in partnership with Medical City Children’s Hospital and Texas ProStart culinary programs. With the help of their parents, students signed up and kept a log to track their daily snack intake.  The goal was to make and eat a healthy snack with a fruit or vegetable 21-days in a row. The idea is that it takes 21-days to make a change into a habit. “We want elementary students to be introduced to different fruits and vegetables in a fun way, but more important, we want the students to make their snack by themselves,” said Ryan Eason, director of Medical City Healthcare community relations. “This is where learning happens.” view article arw

The Trump Administration is rolling back some of the Obama-era regulations on public school lunches. The rules have been relaxed on whole-grain requirements, sodium limits, sugary drinks, and saturated fats. The U.S. Agriculture Secretary said these restrictions were too restrictive, making it difficult for schools to feed students food they would eat. view article arw

Since January, Texas schools have been allowed to become nonprofit food pantries, saving unused food and giving it to hungry students. Now, an organization within UT Health San Antonio is offering a blueprint that schools can follow to get started. According to Feeding Texas, more than 25 percent of children in Bexar County live in food insecure homes. They don't know where their next meal will come from. view article arw

Next year school districts can serve saltier cafeteria foods, fewer whole grain options and put a bit more fat in the milk. That's because the USDA is making guidelines less restrictive. “To some degree, it’s a step back because for Nacogdoches Independent School District we’ve already complied with the rules," said student nutrition director for Nacogdoches ISD, Robin Thacker. view article arw

The U.S. school lunch program is making room on menus again for noodles, biscuits, tortillas and other foods made mostly of refined grains. The Trump administration is scaling back contested school lunch standards implemented under the Obama administration including one that required only whole grains be served. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday only half the grains served will need to be whole grains, a change it said will do away with the current bureaucracy of requiring schools to obtain special waivers to serve select refined grains foods. Low-fat chocolate milk will also be allowed again. Previously, only fat-free milk could be flavored, although that rule had also been temporarily waived. view article arw

The Trump administration announced Thursday it would scale back school lunch standards to allow refined grains and low-fat chocolate milk. The Department of Agriculture released a statement outlining the final rule on nutritional changes to be released later this month. Only half of grains sold will have to be whole grain, flavored low-fat milk will be available and schools will have more time to meet sodium requirements. view article arw

A 22-year Army veteran and expert in food service and logistics has been appointed to lead Killeen ISD’s school nutrition program for 45,000 students. Superintendent John Craft appointed Evan Leach as director of school nutrition. Leach has served in the U.S. Army since 1997 and is currently assigned to III Corps headquarters at Fort Hood. He is retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer 3 and will join Killeen ISD on Jan. 7. view article arw

A 22-year Army veteran and expert in food service and logistics has been named to the lead role of Killeen ISD’s school nutrition program, according to district officials. Superintendent John Craft appointed Evan Leach as director of school nutrition, according to a news release Monday. Leach has served in the U.S. Army since 1997, and is currently assigned to III Corps headquarters at Fort Hood. He is retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer 3 and will join KISD on Jan. 7. During his army career, Leach led the planning and coordination for feeding 20,000 military members a day and estimated and organized sustainment requirements for all deployed service members in Iraq, Syria, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. view article arw

Students at a private university in New Jersey can eat more chicken as long as it's not Chick-fil-A. Rider University removed the restaurant from a survey of dining options "based on the company's record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ community." The fast-food chain was included in previous surveys. view article arw

The University High School soccer team and JROTC are joining forces to brighten up Christmas for hundreds of children in the district. Through a Make A Wish Come True, students in need from Bell's Hill Elementary, South Waco Elementary, Kendrick Elementary, Alta Vista Elementary and Cesar Chavez Middle School wrote a letter saying what they would do with $100. University High School Soccer Coach Mike Chapman said this year they are hoping to fulfill the dreams of 240 children. view article arw

Frisco ISD is now accepting applications for FISD Insight, a community engagement program that offers participants a behind-the-scenes look at the school district. Many may not realize that FISD is the size of many large businesses, with an annual operating budget of more than half a billion dollars. The district enrolls more than 60,000 students in 72 schools and is now the 13th largest school district in Texas. With more than 7,000 employees, Frisco ISD is also the city of Frisco’s largest employer. view article arw

The Houston Independent School District announced on Wednesday that it had received approval from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Agriculture to waive the required application process for the National School Lunch/Breakfast Program. "All HISD students will eat all school meals for free during the 2017-2018 school year," the district said in a release Wednesday morning. Families still need to apply for this waiver though. view article arw

Fort Bend ISD is going to begin serving up something different for some students who continually fail to pay for their lunches -- a cold cheese sandwich with a side of milk, and that's not sitting well with some parents. We're not talking about students who qualify for free school meals. But apparently, these repeat offenders have gotten so "forgetful" that it's draining the district's budget by hundreds of thousands of dollars. view article arw

Study: Eat school lunch after recess

January 1508:18 AM

Because of a federal rule, kids throw away millions of dollars of fruits and vegetables every single day at school. But a new study shows a simple, no-cost trick that should leave federal policy makers saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?” When recess takes place before kids sit down to eat – instead of after - fruit and vegetable consumption increases by 54%. view article arw

Beaumont Public Health director Sherry Ulmer says West Brook High School cafeteria workers did not want old sandwiches to rot outside during the Beaumont Independent School District Thanksgiving week-long break, since they were not sure when the trash would be collected.  view article arw