Following fresh evacuation orders and a series of chemical plant explosionscaused by flooding and power losses, Houston’s recovery from Hurricane Harvey has a long way to go. Yet none of this has prevented victims and strangers alike from lending their talents or money to these efforts, nor has it discouraged celebrities like Kevin Hart, J.J. Watt and Beyonce from donating or raising millions of dollars. And in another bit of much-needed good news, the Houston Independent School District announced all of its students would be getting three free meals a day for the 2017-2018 school year.
According to local CBS affiliate KHOU, both the United States Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Agriculture approved HISD’s request to waive the application process typically required for the National School Lunch/Breakfast Program:
“The flooding that is affecting the city of Houston has been devastating to so many. Some of the areas that are the hardest hit are filled with working parents whose limited funds will need to go toward recovery efforts,” said Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. “This waiver will give our families one less concern as they begin the process of restoring their lives. It will also provide a sense of normalcy by allowing students to have access to up to three nutritious meals each and every school day.”
The federal and state-approved waiver will take effect immediately. However, officials told parents they should still “complete and return the application” if they had already started one. “The National School Lunch/School Breakfast Program applications and surveys are available” at the program’s official website. “They can also be accessed by visiting the HISD Nutrition Services website and clicking on the ‘One Form Means So Much’ button on the right side of the page. The information received in the forms helps the district to secure funding and track student data.”