Ahead of the 2020-2021 school year, Socorro Independent School District (SISD) officials announced Wednesday that applications for free and reduced-priced meals are being accepted online.
“The online application process offers families an easy, quick, and efficient way to complete the form to determine if they qualify for free or reduced cost meals,” district officials shared. “For more information or questions about the online meal application, call (915) 937-0450.”
The district will continue to offer free breakfast to all students this school year, via SISD’s Child Nutrition Services department. CNS workers ensure that all meals are balanced, meet federal and state standards, and options are provided to offer students the meals they enjoy with the nutrition they need to excel in the classroom.
As part of the Breakfast in the Classroom program, all elementary, middle and high school students, regardless of income eligibility, will receive breakfast free of charge when students return to the classroom as approved by the Texas Education Agency and local health and government officials.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the supper meal program will not be available until further notice.
For lunch, the SISD Child Nutrition Services program will follow Texas Department of Agriculture guidelines for the school year. This allows children to receive lunch at their qualified rate: free, reduced or paid for the lunch meal based on the free and reduced meal application.
During remote learning, breakfast and lunch will be provided for students at the school they are enrolled in or the designated sites as detailed below.
The meals will be available via the same drive-through/walk-up procedures that were used during the summer meal service from 8 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday.
The meals will be available for pick up at all SISD schools with the exception of:
- Mission Early College High School – Mission Early College students can pick up their meals at Eastlake High School.
- Montwood High School – Montwood High School students can pick up their meals at Helen Ball Elementary.
- Options High School – Options High School students can pick up their meals at Americas High School.
Combo schools will provide meals on one side only at:
- Elfida P. Chavez Elementary School
- Lujan-Chavez Elementary School
- Sgt. Roberto Ituarte Elementary School
- Capt. Walter E. Clarke Middle School
- SSG. Manuel R. Puentes Middle School.
- Escontrias Elementary for Escontrias Early Childhood Center
Child Nutrition Services employees will place the meals in trunks or back seats of vehicles in order to maintain social distancing measures. Please note the following guidelines/notes:
- Parents are asked to remain in vehicle and open the trunk or back of vehicle.
- If in a truck or SUV, where back cannot be opened, CNS employees will provide the meal
on a tray to lessen unnecessary contact or the meal can be placed in the back seat if unoccupied.
- If possible, parents are asked to please place a box or bin in their trunk, which will help hold the meal bags upright and keep the integrity of the meal.
According to state/federal guidelines, parents can pick up meals without having to bring their children to the pickup sites. Parents must present one of the following for their student:
- Official letter/email from school listing children enrolled at the campus
- Student ID number
- Student ID cards
All students enrolled at 26 participating Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) campuses will receive all meals for free. Additionally, students at these schools do not need to fill out the meal application for free and reduced lunch.
CEP schools include Benito Martinez, Campestre, Rojas, Elfida P. Chavez, Escontrias, H.D. Hilley, Hueco, Hurshel Antwine, KEYS Elementary, Mission Ridge, Myrtle Cooper, O’Shea Keleher, Purple Heart, Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco, Sierra Vista, and Vista del Sol elementary schools; Desert Wind, Ernesto Serna, Bill Sybert, and Jane A. Hambric K-8 schools; Capt. Walter E. Clarke, Salvador H. Sanchez and Socorro middle schools; KEYS Academy, Options High School, and Escontrias Early Childhood Center.
Lunch prices for the 2020-21 school year for grades Pre-K through fifth (PK-5) will be $2.10 and $2.45 for grades sixth through 12th. Students may qualify for free or reduced-price meals. The reduced price for lunch is 40 cents.
District officials added that SISD parents can manage their child’s school meal accounts online using the MySchoolBucks app.
With the app, they can set up automatic payments, add money to the account through the simple and secure system, and receive low balance alerts. In addition, SISD parents may also use the Meal Viewer app to view school breakfast and lunch menus and get the nutritional values of the specific food items.
The MealViewer app is available for free download from the App Store or Google Play.
Online applications can be completed at computers in the Child Nutrition Services Office, 12300 Eastlake Drive, the District Service Center, 12440 Rojas, following all social distancing and wellness protocols.
Criteria for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits
The following criteria will be used to determine a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meal benefits:
- Household income that is at or below the income eligibility levels
Categorical or Automatic Eligibility
- Household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant, or displaced by a declared disaster
For those households that qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on income, an adult in the household must fill out a free and reduced-price meal application online. For more information, contact Frances Castillo, CNS Data Entry Specialist, 12300 Eastlake Dr., El Paso, Texas, 79928, 915-937-0450. Those individuals filling out the application will need to provide the following information:
- Names of all household members
- Amount, frequency, and source of current income for each household member
- Last 4 digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application or, if the adult does not have a social security number, check the box for
“No Social Security number”
- Signature of an adult household member attesting that the information provided is correct
SISD provides free and reduced-price meals for children who qualify under the attached current income eligibility guidelines, which are available online.
Each SISD school and the District Education Center has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by anyone on request.