LISD provides free meals during school closures


Katlynn Fox

LISD staff is handing out breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday for all students under the age of 18. Meals can be picked up at 14 locations in the district.

After school closures were announced on March 17, a service was implemented to provide children under the age of 18 with two meals a day through a minimal contact drive-thru format. 

Individually prepared meals are available Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Parents must be accompanied by their children or present an official letter or email from their school verifying enrollment, a student report card, attendance record from the parent portal of the school website, birth certificate or student identification card.  

“We have many students and families in the district who are ‘food challenged,’ and sometimes the only meals they may get for the day are the meals provided by the school cafeteria,” cafeteria manager Monique Wallace said. “It’s important now, more than ever, to provide them and their siblings, who may not be old enough to be enrolled in LISD, with meals.  This program is not just for the students who qualify for free and reduced meals, but all the children in our district. Many families are finding themselves in a unique position right now, and it’s important to take away some of the worry for the children we serve.”

Meals can be picked up at 14 different locations in the district, including Lewisville High School, Polser Elementary School and the mobile meal sites which reach both Creekside and Bunker Hill neighborhoods. 

“Since the free meal service has started, it has been successful,” counselor Stacy Lovett said. “LISD and Child Nutrition worked very closely to pick campuses that are centrally located in their municipalities to reach as many students as possible. The pick-up sites are managed by our trained food service staff, and the counseling team’s role is one of advertisement and resource communication.”

LISD has also implemented security measures to ensure that parents, students and meal providers are protected. Along with wearing gloves, procedures have been altered to offer breakfast and lunch at the same time to minimize contact. Additionally, parents now have to indicate how many meals they need through their closed car windows, and the meals are then placed in the trunk or empty back seat.

Some of the safety procedures are the same, such as wearing gloves which we have always done when serving unpackaged food, but now we wear them when serving the grab-and-go meals,” Wallace said. “We keep our distance by not leaning into the vehicles and asking that students and parents stay in their cars. . We have bags like they use in grocery stores so that breakfast and lunch will be in one bag, further reducing our contact.”

In addition to the district’s efforts, other meal services within the community are also being advertised. The Salvation Army offers similar grab-and-go lunches Monday-Friday from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m., Christian Community Action offers a food pantry for adults, Metrocrest offers a food pantry for adults and the S. Tracy Howard Project offers free dinner Monday-Friday from 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. 

“Our message is one of support, understanding and resource information,” Lovett said. “Many families are finding themselves in a position they have never been in before. Some families have seen the loss of both parent’s jobs. This is leaving the family in dire need of multiple support mechanisms: basic needs such as food, shelter, support with bills and medical needs. The entire LISD counseling team is working as diligently as possible to provide a vast array of support systems in the community. Many community businesses and individuals are doing what they can to support our area.”