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Education

Some San Antonio Districts Will Offer Free Meals For The Upcoming School Year

Students were spaced at least six feet apart in the cafeteria for lunch at Medora Elementary Wednesday morning. It was the first
Matt Stone/Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Co
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Students were spaced at least six feet apart in the cafeteria for lunch at Medora Elementary Wednesday morning. It was the first day back to school since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down in-person classes March 2020. March 17, 2021Medora Elementary First Day Back Since COVID19

This post was originally published on Thursday, July 22, at 12:28 p.m. It has been updated.

]The U.S. Department of Agriculture in April issued a range of flexibilities to allow school meal programs and childcare institutions to return to serving healthy meals in the fall 2021 semester.

A few San Antonio districts are taking advantage of the waiver, including Fort Sam Houston, Judson, North East and Northside Independent School Districts.

NEISD and NISD are San Antonio’s largest two school districts. The one-year waiver allows them to provide free meals regardless of income.

Edgewood, SAISD and most South Side districts meet the income requirements to offer universal free meals without the waiver.

Typically, a student's household must meet income eligibility requirements to qualify for the free or reduced-price meals, but the updated USDA guidance no longer requires an application or eligibility determination process.

The Department of Agriculture typically requires specific income levels for students to qualify for free meals. But the federal agency issued guidance that allows schools to offer the meals to all students at no cost for the 2021-2022 school year.

Free curbside meals are available for pick-up at every NEISD middle school campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

According to a statement from FSHISD, income eligibility requirements will likely resume for the next school year.

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