PORT ISABEL — From juice boxes to chicken quesadillas and even tamales, Jordan Badilo, 9, took his time sampling different foods and drinks that were displayed on several tables in the cafeteria.  Immediately after tasting each item, Jordan searched for a clear spot on nearby tables so he could write how he felt about it on his product evaluation form. view article arw

SPRING, TX – Jan. 16, 2020 – For Spring ISD parents who made a New Year’s goal to pack their child’s lunch more often, the district’s Child Nutrition department has a solution for students at Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) campuses: Pack the entrée and they can grab a fruit, vegetable and milk for free.  The idea of the program is that students at CEP campuses can pick three items from the lunch line to complement their lunch from home. Students at non-CEP campuses who qualify for free and reduced meals can also take advantage of this opportunity. view article arw

Now the district needs your help coming up with a unique name.  PECOS, Texas — Pecos Barstow Toyah ISD has purchased one of the first school district food trucks in West Texas. The truck will be used at extracurricular activities as well as on special days.  The district also says it will be used for the summer feeding program, allowing them to take it on the road and ensure children who can't get into town for the free lunch won't go hungry. view article arw

ALVIN, Texas (KTRK) -- A group of Alvin ISD students are competing to show off their culinary talents on the International Space Station.  "It's really cool to think about, that you're making something that astronauts could eat," said senior Angel Garcia. view article arw

ODEM, Texas — Students across the Odem Independent School District are now able to go home on a full stomach.  From chocolate milk to apples, students don't have to wait for dinner at home with an after school super program. The program is designed to help students that struggle financially.  view article arw

It's the season for giving and a former Conroe ISD student did just that, by giving to his alma mater. On Tuesday, Conroe ISD announced that a graduate from Conroe High School donated funds totaling over $7,000 to pay off the lunch debts of Washington Jr. High and Conroe High School students. view article arw

Hundreds of dollars in unpaid school lunch debt have been paid off in one Manor Independent School District elementary school, thanks to contributions from the community. view article arw

Chef Rudy Vasquez is busy deep-frying one of today’s lunch specials, chicken fingers. Only there’s no wheat on the flour-dredged meat. The breading is gluten free because some people are allergic to it or have celiac disease.  “And so we experimented with a number of different flour blends. Some of them had too much of one particular flour, such as rice or tapioca or potato starch. And some didn’t have enough. So we had to find the right balance," Vasquez said.  The University of North Texas says it has opened the state's first college cafeteria called Kitchen West that is free of the “big eight” ingredients that cause most food allergies. These ingredients are milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. view article arw

After a full morning of science and new math, lunch is that long-awaited break to just be a kid. At least that's what it should be. Lately, lunch at school keeps raising eyebrows. Parents sent to collection agencies over bills and hot meals taken away from kids. view article arw

The grant was given to the district by the Food Research and Action Center Breakfast Expansion Effort via General Mills. It paid for new breakfast carts for Lockhart High School and new breakfast rolling coolers for the elementary schools. view article arw

LITTLE CYPRESS, Texas — Students at some Little Cypress-Mauriceville schools may have eaten lettuce that was on the FDA recall list before the district was notified. Mauriceville Elementary, Mauriceville Middle and LCM High School all served the lettuce to a 'minimal number of students' on Thursday.    Anyone who believes they are having these symptoms after eating at one of these campuses should see a doctor. view article arw

Manor ISD is set to launch a new donation-driven program to help tackle the $1,500 lunch debt in their district. Starting Friday, Dec. 6, all campuses that charge students for lunch will have a “Lunch Buddy” account. The funds in the Lunch Buddy account were provided by parents and community members through donation. view article arw

In an attempt to ensure all students receive a hot meal, Manor Independent School District is starting a new donation-driven program at their schools to help pay for the lunches of children with negative balances. Manor ISD said starting Friday, all campuses that charge for lunch will have a "Lunch Buddy" account that students with negative balances can use to pay for their lunch. They said donations have been made by parents a view article arw

More than 18% of Texas children ages 10-17 are obese. Meanwhile,1 in 4 youth in the state experience hunger. Either way, kids who don’t get sufficient or nutritious meals start life at a serious disadvantage. Nutrition is one of 10 components for the CDC's recommended Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model and it plays a large role in the well-being of a student. A nutritious diet can lead to healthy behaviors and better performance in school.  view article arw

Manor ISD will soon be opening new donation accounts district-wide to ensure all students have access to a good meal during the school day. "Sometimes you just don't have the means or maybe you have a lot going on and you're not thinking about checking the account,” said mother Mayokia Fowler. Fowler’s five-year-old daughter is a kindergartener at ShadowGlen Elementary. She says her daughter has reached a negative balance on her school lunch account in the past. view article arw

An anonymous donor moved by the spirit of giving paid off hundreds of dollars in lunch dues for Conroe students. Conroe ISD told Eyewitness News the person donated over $1,400 just before Thanksgiving for students at Oak Ridge Elementary School. The school principal says the donor has no connection to the school and just wanted to pay it forward after witnessing his father do a similar deed.   view article arw

Free lunches will be offered to all students at Myatt Elementary starting in the 2020-2021 school year, after the El Campo ISD school board voted unanimously in favor of implementing a federal program Tuesday night. The board also approved changes to the district mission statement, but took no action on which courses will be added to the El Campo High School curriculum next year. view article arw

The Dallas Independent School District will offer access to free, nutritious meals over its Thanksgiving Break, the district announced Wednesday. Schools will serve a morning snack from 9-9:30 a.m. and lunch from 12:30-1 p.m. from Monday, Nov. 25 through Wednesday, Nov. 27 at participating schools. view article arw

Dallas ISD’s Food and Child Nutrition Services Department will offer students free meals during the Thanksgiving break, from Monday, November 25 through Wednesday, November 27, at select locations. The effort is to ensure students have access to nutritious meals even during breaks from school. view article arw

McAllen ISD is just one district who has joined the wave of serving dinner after school, and they say it works in the best interest of their students. Whether they're staying late, or need a warm meal, McAllen students have access to all three during the week - with dinner free of charge. view article arw

Helping out your neighbors during the holidays is a bit easier thanks to the efforts of Katy ISD’s Partners in Education. The 18th Annual Food for Families campaign raises money to buy grocery gift cards for students in Katy ISD. “Katy ISD identifies students for the program, and Partners in Education collects community and corporate donations,” according to a news release from Partners in Education. “Grocery gift cards, along with a note of support from the Katy ISD community, are then delivered to each student by a campus staff member.” view article arw

What should children eat? Depends on whom you ask. Kids will tell you the answer is, apparently, pizza and chicken nuggets and cereals with cartoons on the box. Ask global food conglomerates, and the answer is whatever they can make cheaply and sell for a premium, with a thin veneer of nutrition. Ask schools, and the answer will be whatever they can afford that meets minimum government nutrition requirements. Ask parents, and the answer might just be an exasperated, “Whatever they’re willing to eat.” view article arw

Pflugerville ISD is making a major change to their lunch policy after a parent witnessed a child being “lunch shamed." The woman says she also is raising money to pay off the district's lunch debt. She says the incident that brought this to the limelight was unfortunate, but the fact that it happened has caused the district to reevaluate their practices and that was her goal. view article arw

Local school leaders are speaking out about their concerns with proposed changes to supplemental nutrition assistance program or SNAP benefits commonly known as food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to make changes to eligibility requirements for SNAP. The leader said tighter food stamp requirements would hurt school lunch programs.  view article arw

Friday, Pflugerville ISD parents received an email notifying them of new lunchroom practices. According to the district, all students will receive hot entrees at school regardless of their school lunch debt. The move comes after CBS Austin aired one mother's story of witnessing a child served toast because she didn't have money to buy breakfast. view article arw

The Pflugerville Independent School District is changing its lunchroom practices. In a letter to parents, Pflugerville ISD Superintendent Dr. Doug Killian said the district is eliminating the alternate lunch entree offered to students who have reached a maximum negative balance on their lunch account. view article arw

Students and staff members in Wylie ISD have spent the last three weeks developing healthier lifestyles, and their hard work has the potential to pay off. view article arw

Pamela Zuniga went to go have breakfast with her son at Brookhollow Elementary. While in line, another student broke down crying after being told she could not have the cereal she put on her tray. “I just saw them taking her cereal, giving her toast, crying, basically being shamed in front of not just children, but adults as well," Zuniga said. view article arw

Pflugerville ISD mother Pamela Zuniga says she can't stop thinking about what she witnessed at Brookhollow Elementary School a few weeks ago. She was in the breakfast line with her son when she noticed another student who didn't have enough money to pay for food. Pamela tells us she then saw a cafeteria worker taking the child's cereal away and replacing it with toast. "She started crying. They told her she wasn't going to be able to have cereal that morning and they basically guided her out of the line into the lunch area to sit down to eat her toast," says Pamela. view article arw

For as long as public schools have been feeding kids lunch, grown-ups have been arguing about it. Everything from what goes on the plate to who should pay the bill to whether ketchup is a vegetable has prompted heated debate. But far from the halls of Congress, where the National School Lunch Program is as much a political issue as an educational concern, cafeteria staff grapple with very different challenges: making cauliflower and beets appealing to 8-year-olds; putting whole grains, a healthy entree, a vegetable and fresh fruit on a plate for a couple of bucks; hiring good workers when the starting wage may be less than the pay at a big-box store. view article arw

Even more than usual, it is superheroes serving meals in Killeen ISD’s school cafeterias recently. National School Lunch Week presents a uniform time for school nutrition staff members to point out the importance of healthy eating. It also places a spotlight on a deserving, “behind the scenes” group of employees. view article arw

The superintendents of Bexar County’s two largest school districts joined nationwide criticism of a U.S. Department of Agriculture proposal to tighten eligibility for food stamps because it also would shrink the number of students who can get free school meals. Both sent letters to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue even before the department released a report last week that the rule change would require almost a million school children to reapply for the benefit nationwide. More than half would need to pay a reduced fee for lunch, the study estimated. view article arw

The Houston Independent School District is getting students to reach out to each other for what it called No One Eats Alone Day. It’s part of how HISD is promoting awareness for National Bullying Prevention Month. During lunch Friday, students across the district were using icebreaker cards to start conversations at the lunch table. It was all to ensure no one eats alone. view article arw

Arden Road Elementary hosted an assembly celebrating Aramark’s “Farm Fresh Fridays” on Friday. Aramark manages the food and nutrition program for the Canyon Independent School District.  Each year during the month of October, Aramark celebrates “Farm Fresh Fridays” by implementing foods that have been produced in Texas into their menus for Canyon ISD. Canyon ISD School Nutrition partners with Texas Department of Agriculture to help Texas producers by using and serving their products and to educate students on how and where foods are produced for consumption. view article arw

Three years ago CCISD started providing free meals after school to students who are food insecure. What started off as a service for only a few schools has grown to include 44 campuses district-wide. "We include a main dish, a vegetable, and a fruit," said the CCISD office's Coordinator of Food Services Deborah Meador. "And the milk is provided here at the schools, but those meals are shipped daily to the school and served each afternoon after school for the students that come for the Supper Program." view article arw