The El Paso Independent School District announced it will be providing its students and all children in the community access to free breakfast and lunch through the end of the fall semester in December.

According to the district, the meals are now available to any child, ages 1 to 18, regardless of district enrollment status. In other words, the child need not be a student in the El Paso Independent School District.

“We know the challenges in learning are even more present right now because of the pandemic, and we want to eliminate any concern about food that may exist," said Laura Duran, EPISD’s Director of Nutrition Services, in a district press release. “It is our goal to provide nutritious meals to as many children as possible during these difficult times."

The rules from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that allow EPISD to provide the free breakfast and lunch to kids community-wide also means parents with children enrolled in different campuses may now pick up meals at one location instead of traveling to each of the schools in which their children are enrolled.

Here’s what you need to know:

Every EPISD school will have curbside distribution of breakfast and hot lunch meals from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays. Meals for Saturdays and Sundays will be distributed every Friday starting Oct. 2. Curbside schedule may change once in-person instruction begins, although drive-through service will continue for students who are learning virtually.

The child or children need not be present to receive the meals, however, parents or guardians must present one of the following documents for verification:

• Official document from any school to demonstrate enrollment.
• Report card
• Birth certificate
• Student ID card

Parents who pick up meals for their children will be given a verification card at a campus and they will be required to pick up all meals at that campus from then on.

The free meal program will be extended to all EPISD students who attend in-person instruction starting Oct. 1. Students on campus will receive free breakfast and lunch either in the classroom or as a grab-and-go option.

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