'Families are still recovering': Dallas ISD, Fort Worth ISD students can get free breakfast, lunch at participating sites


Students of Dallas Independent School District (ISD) and Fort Worth ISD are able to get free meals during the summer breaks. 

Two of the largest school districts in North Texas are offering free breakfast and lunch for children ages one to 18 without having to register or provide any form of ID, Fox 4 reported. 

“Families are still recovering from the pandemic and it’s important we provide resources to families in our community. Happy to see @DallasSchools is making sure kids who are in need have access to free meals this summer,” state Rep. Colin Allred (D-Hillcrest) wrote in a tweet.

Fort Worth ISD’s program, which started this past week, will run until Thursday, July 22 for children under the age of 18. Meals will be distributed from Monday through Thursday at multiple Fort Worth ISD sites, and children can pick up food for the weekend on Thursdays.

Funding for the program is part of the $2.5 billion in food benefits the state asked Gov. Greg Abbott for out of the federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, NBC DWF reported. The $2.5 billion will benefit nearly 3.7 million Texan children as part of the second round of P-EBT approved by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) in May. 

“Thank you to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for approving this second round of pandemic food benefits for Texas families,” Abbott said in a statement. “These additional benefits will continue to help Texans provide food for their families. I thank our state partners at HHSC, TEA and TDA for working together to secure these benefits and administering them quickly to families across the state.”

Individual families that qualified for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program and families with children born after Aug. 1, 2014 who receive SNAP food benefits are also able to receive $1,200 in additional P-EBT funding, the statement said.

“These additional food benefits are a lifeline and will go a long way to help many Texas families put nutritious food on the table,” HHS Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young said in the statement. “We’ve worked closely with our many state and federal partners and we’re thankful to get this program off the ground so we can help people during this challenging time.”

Applications are available for the additional $1,200 per child in P-EBT benefits until Friday, Aug. 13, and will be processed in the order received, the statement said. Applications can be found at hhs.texas.gov/pebt or by calling the P-EBT Call Center at 833-442-1255 to learn more. 

Children attending a school defined as a Community Eligibility Provision or Provision II school and received meals at no cost during the 2020-2021 school year but did not receive SNAP benefits will need to apply, the release said. Families who received SNAP benefits for the first time during the 2020-2021 school year in May or June 2021 and have children born on or before Aug. 1, 2014 are also among those needing to apply for the additional funding. 

To find a location being provided by Dallas ISD or Fort Worth ISD, one can text “FOOD TX”  to 877-877 or call 211, Fox 4 reported. 

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