Due to school closures from COVID-19, Texas received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide more than $1 billion in pandemic food benefits to families with children that have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals.  Houston ISD families may be eligible to receive a Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, a one-time benefit of up to $285 issued on an EBT card to assist families during the district's closure. view article arw

As the summer break gets underway, Katy Independent School District is ready to provide free meals and nourishment to area children and teens in need.  Summer meals will be distributed beginning 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, through Friday, May 29. But starting on Monday, June 1, through Tuesday, June 30, the district will distribute its grab-and-go meals Monday through Thursday, each day from 9 to 11:30 a.m. So what used to be the Friday meals will be distributed on Thursday. Therefore, people picking up meals on Thursday will get two days of meals. The meals will be distributed in the following locations: view article arw

After two months of distributing food across the community in partnership with the Houston Food Bank, Houston ISD is changing gears for the summer.  On June 1, the district will launch a twice-a-week curbside program, offering several days' worth of boxed meals for students at 68 school sites. view article arw

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Volunteers gave out 1,000 gallons of milk to 500 families on a rainy Monday, the first day of the Mayor’s Milk Initiative, the Dallas Mayor’s Office said in a news release.  Based on the responses of recipients regarding their household sizes, more than 2,200 people were helped by the Memorial Day distribution. view article arw

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo ISD will continue serving free meals to students after the official school year ends on May 22.  Amarillo ISD families can currently drive through one of 16 school campuses Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a curbside-style service that includes a meal for lunch and breakfast for the following day. On Fridays, families receive three lunches and three breakfasts per student to accommodate for the weekend. view article arw

Plano ISD is offering free grab-and-go meals for students over the summer. Students 18 years old and younger will receive a free lunch and a breakfast for the following day. Anyone picking up meals without a student present must provide documentation, which can include a student-issued identification card, report card, birth certificate or the verification letters that families are currently providing when they pick up meals. view article arw

The campuses and departments have also selected paraprofessionals of the year and Child Nutrition and Maintenance have named Department Employees of the Year.  Veronica Bias of Little Cypress Elementary is the employee for Child Nutrition and Jeanette Wyatt is the Maintenance Employee of the Year.  Mauriceville Elementary named Angela Jones as Teacher and Mandy Simon as the Paraprofessional recipient. view article arw

Frenship ISD and Aramark have announced they will continue to provide curbside meals at no cost to children in the community until further notice, after distributing more than 200,000 meals to kids since March 23. Families will be able to pick up breakfast and lunch for all seven days of the week. Meals are available for all children age 18 or younger, and they do not have to be a Frenship student. view article arw

The Conroe ISD Board of Trustees approved applications for several grants related to the vastly different crises that have affected the district this school year: Tropical Storm Imelda and the COVID-19 pandemic.  Among the multiple grants that the board approved applications for during its monthly meeting Tuesday were the Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations Grant and the Texas Education Agency Instructional Continuity of Learning Grant. view article arw

On May 19, Plano ISD announced several assistance options that will be available over the summer, including free meals, social services and free counseling. Free meals for those in need of assistance will be available beginning May 26 and will continue to be distributed throughout the summer Monday through Friday. Curbside pickup will take place from 10:30 a.m.-noon each day. view article arw

Houston ISD, which has been working for weeks in partnership with the Houston Food Bank distributing food at different school sites throughout the district, is about to embark on its own curbside summer meals programs starting June 1 with some adjustments made for the coronavirus.  Pickup will be available twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays. Students, parents or other adult family members may go to one of 68 designated district schools for the boxes which will be available for each child in a household. view article arw

Hungry schoolchildren in New Waverly received some welcome news Monday from the New Waverly ISD Board of Trustees  Responding to the continued need during the COVID-19 pandemic, the school board has extended its food program so the school can continue feeding students affected by building closures.  Set to expire at the end of June, the board gave unanimous approval to continue to program at an estimated cost between $40,000-$50,000. view article arw

EDINBURG, Texas – Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District has now served one million healthy meals to children as part of its Curbside Meal Pickup Program.  The program started March 23 with school nutrition professionals feeding students in the school community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Monday, 1,014,182 meals had been provided.  “Today is a big day, because we have served a million meals,” said ECISD Interim Superintendent Gilbert Garza, Jr. “The program has been a huge success for us.” view article arw

The district says the employee worked at Brenham High School May 12 and May 13 but was not involved in the distribution of boxed meals.  Brenham ISD says members of the food service team who had contact with the staff member are now quarantining for 14 days. The food preparation area is also being cleaned and sanitized.  In a statement, Brenham ISD said safety is paramount as their food services team works to ensure students have what they need throughout the school closure. All items included in the boxed meals are pre-packaged. Their certified food service staff members wear gloves and masks to prepare meals and the food preparation area is sanitized after each use. Social distancing protocols are followed at all times. view article arw

We'll be updating this story throughout the day Tuesday with the latest local news on the coronavirus pandemic. If you'd like to go through a roundup of COVID-19 news from Monday, read it here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Independent School District and the Houston Food Bank has scheduled the mass community food distribution for today from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the NRG Yellow Lot. The event was originally planned for this past Saturday but was canceled due to the weather.  Event organizers and volunteers want to remind visitors to keep their distance if they choose to walk to the site. view article arw

The Arlington ISD student meal plan, which started March 16, surpassed the one-million meal mark last week.  The student meals assure anyone 18-and-under can get 12 meals a week during the school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meals are currently distributed from 27 Arlington ISD campuses. view article arw

Houston ISD continues its partnership with the Houston Food Bank to address widespread food insecurity across the city, with another 25 sites scheduled for food pickup May 11-15.  The district has been distributing food to families since March and intends to keep the partnership going through the summer, even if summer school resumes with on-campus instruction.  Here is where to find the food distribution sites the week of May 11. view article arw

Lewisville ISD is now giving students free meals for the weekend, in addition to weekdays. The district, like many in the area, began distributing free meals to local kids when schools were closed — due to the coronavirus pandemic — immediately after spring break in March. On Fridays, beginning last week, kids are now receiving breakfast and lunch for Saturdays and Sundays. view article arw

As 51,000 students across Round Rock ISD complete their spring semester from home, district staff continues to provide meals and technology such as laptops and WiFi hotspots. Superintendent Steve Flores provided an update to the RRISD board of trustees with the latest distribution numbers April 30. view article arw

Houston ISD will hold its third mass distribution event May 2at NRG Stadium and will continue its food distribution the following week at 25 sites. Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan told the board of trustees this week that she anticipates continuing the program all summer long, as long as the partnership with the Houston Food Bank allows it.  The Saturday event at the yellow parking lot of NRG is expected to distribute 10,000 food packages—approaching 1 million pounds—in five hours, from 2-7 p.m.  In the district's past two NRG events, about 1.3 million pounds of food was distributed, according to HISD.  Food distribution locations are as follows for May 2-8. view article arw

While teachers and students stay home for safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, cafeteria teams are leaving their families to go in to work and make sure that no child misses a meal. “We forget that many of these families are facing financial difficulty,” Teresa Velasquez, cafeteria manager, Zachry Middle School, said. “Students depend on the healthy meals during the school year.” view article arw

The North Texas Food Bank will distribute food May 5 at a Plano ISD school to area families in need.  The food will be handed out from 9 a.m.-noon at Plano Senior High School, 2200 Independence Parkway.  The mobile food pantry will be set up in the east parking lot, which is bordered by Westside Drive and Park Boulevard.  Anyone in the community who is in need of food is eligible to participate while supplies last, Plano ISD told families in a districtwide message. view article arw

SAN ANTONIO- Students at Somerset Elementary and Middle School picked up some packets for the next month as teachers used this opportunity to cheer them on and tell them they were missed. view article arw

Corpus Christi ISD is reducing its curbside meal service to three days a week to maximize employee safety.  The change is effective beginning Monday, April 27, the district said in a news release Friday. Families will continue to get five days’ worth of meals. view article arw

Grab-n-go lunches will once again be available at the Rusk Elementary School campus beginning on Monday, May 4, according to the Rusk Independent School District Child Nutrition Department.  Sack lunches may be picked up from 11:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M., Monday through Thursday. Children will received two lunches on Thursday since lunches are not served on Fridays.  The lunch program was discontinued in early April to eliminate the possibility of the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) taking place between those who prepared and distributed the lunches and recipients of the meals. view article arw

North East ISD served its millionth grab-and-go meal Thursday since campuses closed back on March 16.“School closures threatened the food access for these children,” said Sharon Glosson, Executive Director of School Nutrition Services. “The NEISD meal program took one worry off of parents’ minds since they knew that their children would be provided with nutritious meals.” view article arw

Lewisville ISD will add weekend meals to its to-go meal service across 14 district locations starting May 1. Breakfast and lunch will be offered for Saturdays and Sundays, according to the district’s April 30 announcement. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Food Bank, in partnership with HISD, held a massive food distribution event for a second consecutive Saturday in a parking lot near the NRG Park.  On Saturday, drivers lined up to collect fresh and packaged foods.   The donations were for families of HISD students, but also open to anyone in need. view article arw

DESOTO– In the Desoto Independent School District, ensuring the mental, social, and emotional health of students is equally as important as providing a continuation of learning during the CoVid-19 public health crisis to create a sense of routine and normalcy. This perspective prompted the district to create a system of virtual touchpoints for its students in every grade level through the district’s Student Support Services department. view article arw

Campbell Soup Company sponsors a Food Backpack each September for back to school. Due to the increase in food insecurity during COVID-19, Campbell Soup representative Kelli Ward moved this shipment up. The food was delivered, sorted, and will be going out on the Paris Food Routes. Crockett Employees, Cecilia Lester, Melissa Douglas and Kim Graham, put together bags including V8 Splash, Swanson Chicken, Spaghettios, Chicken Noodle Soup, Tomato Soup, and Goldfish. view article arw

On the recommendation of Greenville ISD’s finance department and the superintendent’s student advisory council, the school board approved entering a contract with a new vendor for the district’s food services Tuesday.  The 2019-20 school year was the second since the student advisory council was created. Last year, the group was instrumental in gathering suggestions and support for changing the district’s dress code from requiring school uniforms to having a general dress code. This year, the students chose to focus on improving the quality of the food students are being served. Up until spring break this year, the group visited school districts that use vendors other than Chartwells to try out their food and ended up recommending Sodexo. view article arw

The New Caney ISD board of trustees gathered at Randall Reed Stadium on April 20 for its monthly school board meeting. Sitting at individual tables, trustees and district officials discussed the food distribution schedule through May 22 and continued construction on district facilities. Trustees also unanimously approved several agenda items, including a low attendance waiver and a school closure waiver. view article arw

Cars were lined up for more than a mile Tuesday afternoon waiting for the Houston ISD food distribution center at Revere Middle School. The cars snaked their way from the school at 10502 Briar Forest Dr. and up Beltway 8 to Hershey Park. Officers with Precinct 5 Harris County Constable Ted Heap’s office were on hand to help control traffic, particularly as cars got off the Sam Houston Tollway near Deerwood Drive. view article arw

At Rivera Early College High School, cars lined up Tuesday morning in a line that took under 10 minutes to get through to receive two days worth of meals prepared with everyone’s health and safety in mind.  By the time everyone had been served some 550-650 cars had gotten a hot meal for today and a cold one for tomorrow plus milk, fresh fruit and breakfasts for both days, some 2,400 meals on Tuesday and 4,800 meals for the week, site coordinator Angel Lopez of the Brownsville Independent School District Food and Nutrition Services Department said. view article arw