All elementary students in the Sherman Independent School District will be able to enjoy free breakfast and lunch starting this fall. The district recently announced that it will offer the free meals without the need for an application through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision.


“Our goal in the Sherman ISD Food Service Department is to provide the best for our students, from their education to their health and general well-being,” SISD Food Service Director Mandy Stephens said. “This provision will enhance our efforts to provide all students with the nutrition and energy they need to achieve academic success.”


The approval by the USDA will allow the district to provide the free meals for the next four years. In addition to all district elementary campuses, Fred Douglass Early Childhood Center and Perrin Learning Center will also be able to provide the free meals.


“All children will be able to eat for free regardless of economic status,” she said.


Stephens said the addition of the CEP meals adds onto other meal programs that the district has offered in the past. Previously, the district has offered free breakfasts through Dillingham Intermediate and Piner Elementary, she said.


Sherman will be joining other area districts that use the program to assist in feeding low-income students. S&S Consolidated Independent School District will be expanding the program this year to also include middle school students.


S&S Food Service Director Crystal Caffey said the district is able to provide the service due to the high number of students who are in need of the assistance. The program will only cover a set school lunch and cannot be used for a la carte items, she added.


Collinsville offers the service to all students between pre-kindergarten through sixth grade and student pre-K through second grade are served breakfast every morning in the classroom, Collinsville ISD Director of Food Service Laurie Bishop said.


“We have a lot of the littles dropped off at the door, and 20 minutes later they would say they were hungry,” she said.


Here is information from other districts on how students can apply for free or reduced lunch programs:


Tom Bean — District officials said forms for free and reduced lunch programs can be picked up at the district office or via its website. With the start of the new year, it could take between one and three days to process an application, officials said.


Van Alstyne — Van Alstyne officials said the applications for free and reduced lunches are included in the first day of school paperwork that is sent home with the students. Documents and applications can also be found at the district’s website.


Gunter — The district will send out applications to parents of students who have been a part of the program in previous years. Applications can also be found on the district’s website.


Pottsboro — Breakfast is free to all elementary students. For more information on the district’s free and reduced lunch program, please visit the district’s website.


Calls to Denison, Tioga, Bells, Whitewright, and Howe school districts for information on the programs were not immediately returned.