May 29, 2024 - News

There's such a thing as a free lunch (for kids)

Illustration of a school lunch tray with a sun embossed into it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Speaking of food, the Austin school district is providing free breakfast and lunch for students at many schools throughout the summer.

Why it matters: Children need nutritious meals to learn, grow and thrive —even when school is out, school officials observed in a district newsletter.

  • Also, beleaguered parents could use a break from figuring out what their kids are going to eat each day.

Follow the money: The program is paid for through a federally funded Texas Department of Agriculture meal program.

Who qualifies: Any person in the community younger than 19, as well as:

  • Students participating in on-site summer programs at eligible schools.
  • Enrolled students with disabilities, up to 21 years old.

Zoom in: To find where your kid can pick up free meals, call 2-1-1 to speak to a live operator.

  • Or visit SummerFood.org for an interactive site locator map.
  • Text FOOD or COMIDA to 304-304.

How it works: Free meals are available regardless of household income, and without registration or identification.

  • To take part, children may visit the cafeteria at any participating site during service times.
  • Children do not have to be enrolled in AISD, and the meal sites are closed July 1-5.
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