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SISD & DISD offering free meals during the upcoming school year

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:41 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Backpacks, pencils, and pens, just a few necessities as the back-to-school season rolls around.

But, there is one thing some families won’t have to worry about this year: packing a lunch.

“It’s really great to have them be able to get a free meal five times a week,” said Erik Valdez, a Denison parent. “Sometimes that’s their only meal of the day, and I think it’s a really good thing for the kids.”

Sherman and Denison ISD are providing free breakfast and lunches to all students for the second year in a row.

“I think it’s a huge benefit for our families, for all of our students, just to be able to get that meal if they need it,” said Mandy Stephens, the food service director for Sherman ISD. “It’s such a wonderful opportunity.”

Money for the free meals is an extension of last year’s COVID-19 Relief funds from the USDA.

COVID 19′s impact on finances is no secret.

Still, even before the pandemic, the Texas Education Agency said in 2019, 2 out of 3 students in both Sherman and Denison could be classified as economically disadvantaged, which means their families participate in economic assistance programs like free or reduced lunch.

“If they’re worried about where their going to get a meal, their not concentrating on their work, and if that part is eliminated by both the government and by us, then that’s one less obstacle that they have when they go into the classroom where the learning needs to occur,” said Denison ISD’s Brian Eaves.

Both school districts said any student qualifies.

All they have to do is show up.

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