The Seamless Summer Option

Extension on Free Lunch and Breakfast

The Seamless Summer Option

Photo by Alivia Caples

Alivia Caples, Editor

The Seamless Summer program has made it possible for students to continue to receive free lunch and breakfast for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year.  

“During the coronavirus, we (Whitehouse Nutrition Department) decided to apply for a waiver, the USDA had made it available for several states across the US to help families out during this time. I don’t know how many billions of dollars, but the USDA noticed that several districts were pandemic feeding for families back in March,” Food Service Director of Whitehouse ISD Theresa Wilson said. “Whitehouse applied for the waiver since we noticed students were not requesting for the free or reduced program fast enough. Not very many students were eating with us like at the younger age…

Now all students can have one free breakfast and one free lunch all year and do not have to pay.

— Theresa Wilson

16 days into the Seamless Summer Program the cafeterias in all seven districts were handing out 53,000 meals in total. The program is currently feeding 72% of the enrolled high school students. 

“We have to make a lot more meals because there are a lot more kids getting food now that it is all free,” Whitehouse School Nutrition Delilah Urban said. “Our numbers went up on how many entrees we make and how much milk we put out. Basically any food we have the demand increases so the fruits, vegetables, and snacks have increased in quantity.” 

Each day the cafeteria custodians have to plan out how many meals they will need during both lunches so meals will not run out.

“Our manager looks at her data from previous days so if she noticed she fed 750 students she will up her number to 800 meals because she wants to have more food in case more kids start coming. We noticed that at the beginning of this school year like in August we were only giving 550 meals and now we are almost at 800 meals just in a matter of two months,” Wilson said. “Last week we did 750 meals on Tuesday, but by Friday she was already doing 800 meals. There are so many students at the high school you never know when a kid might eat with you so I just tell her to plan for the highest number.”

The lunch ladies are doing a lot more work, but kids need to eat and parents cannot pay for everything according to Urban. 

“I was never able to buy lunch at school because it was so expensive and I didn’t have a lot of food at home to just bring for lunch, so I would go the day without food. Sometimes a Monster Energy drink would be the only thing in my system for the entire day,” Senior Cheyanne Crawford said. “I am very appreciative that free lunch is extended. It helps me get through my day knowing I can go to work on a full stomach.”