Meal Charges to Resume | 2020-2021
Beginning in the next school year (2020-2021), the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) formerly granted to Gregory-Portland ISD for one free student breakfast and one free student lunch per day will expire. (This change follows three consecutive school years of “free meals” given to our students under this limited-time provision that was available due to impacts experienced after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.)
Free and reduced-price meals will still be available for students in families who qualify for them based on federal guidelines, however it will be required to apply each year (as in years prior to Harvey) to determine eligibility. The application for these meal programs will be available on or after July 1, 2020, in advance of the first day of the 2020-2021 school year. (Applications cannot be made available any earlier than this date due to federal requirements.)
In anticipation of the restored meal charges beginning with the first day of school on August 13, 2020, the G-PISD Food Services Department also adjusted proposed meal pricing for the 2020-2021 school year to account for inflation and rising product costs. This standard review and adjustment occurred annually prior to the granted provision, and G-PISD began this process again in the Fall of 2019. Because families were not able to experience minimal annual pricing adjustments for the last three years (due to free meals), the School Board voted in favor of the lowest possible adjustment, at a minimal increase of $0.10 per meal from the pricing offered in 2016-17.
Prior to the vote, Board Secretary Carrie Gregory stated she understood that a 10-cent increase (instead of a pricing increase at 30 or 40 cents) would mean the Food Services Dept. may need to receive supplemental funding from the District to cover costs: “Still, thinking about our parents and their needs ... I think it’s worth covering costs as we can to make things easier on (our parents) as we transition out of CEP.”