Texas parents can now visit the TXSchools.gov MealFinder Map to find locations near them where local school systems are offering free school meals—both breakfast and lunch—for pick-up while school buildings are closed because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Launched by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), in partnership with the Office of the Governor and Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), the TXSchools.gov MealFinder Map is designed to help parents and students easily find school meals during the unprecedented disruption to schools caused by COVID-19.
Once parents go to the site, they click “Meal Pick-Up Locations” to bring up a map of locations. Parents can type their address, and the map will zoom into meal pick-up locations that are up and running near them.
School systems around the state have responded to coronavirus with an outpouring of compassion and operational excellence. In less than 8 days since the first school closures were announced, more than 1,000 schools have launched Meal Pick-Up Locations. That number is expected to rise daily, so parents should check back on TXSchools.gov next week and the week after as more and more meal locations are launched.
In terms of terms of eligibility, TDA has provided extensive guidance to help school systems, based on federal rules. In locations where more than 50 percent of students are eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch, free meals can be made available for every child who visits the meal site. In places below that threshold, closed enrolled sites can be established to target individually eligible students.
With Governor Greg Abbott’s issuance of an Executive Order on Thursday to temporarily close schools statewide through April 3, Texas is taking the lead to ensure that our students will continue to have uninterrupted access to meals, no matter how long school campuses are closed. We all remain committed first and foremost to the health and safety of our students, families, and communities.