CASSANDRA JENKINS: NISD students receive free meals – “one less thing parents need to worry about”

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Nederland ISD Child Nutrition Department recently received notice that the district is eligible to serve meals to all students at no cost through December.

Child Nutrition Director Rene Bodden said the program is an extension of the summer feeding schedule.

“USDA had a couple different associations that went to ask about extending the summer feeding, which is what we were doing from March to May,” she said. “A couple entities went and asked and after asking, USDA decided to extend that through Dec. 31, or until funds run out. That’s how we got to where we are.”

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A reimbursable breakfast and lunch at no cost began Tuesday (Sept. 8) for students at their enrolled campus.

Virtual students will be allowed to pick up their meals from the Nederland High School cafeteria doors. Students must provide their student identification number.

Only one parent or guardian of virtual students will be allowed to pick up meals without the student present providing they have the student’s ID number when they arrive.

Breakfast is served from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m. Lunch is from 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Bodden said parents must pick up meals at this time. Meals will not be given jointly.

“We are just asking families to have their ID numbers for their child,” she said. “We are only letting one person in per a family to keep our COVID-19 guidelines, but they have to have that ID number and be here on time.”

Bodden said the extension, although nationwide, is an extra blessing to Southeast Texas residents.

“It’s important because it helps us twofold,” she said. “To better service our community and students, as well as internally with our production and service. It also takes that strain off families. Now they don’t have to worry about what they are going to do for their child’s breakfast or lunch. The school is providing a healthy, balanced meal twice a day. That’s one less thing parents need to worry about.”

NISD families who may qualify for free and reduced meals are encouraged to complete a new meal application so their benefits for free meals all year long will continue.

To apply for the schools meal program visit, or call the Child Nutrition Department at 409-724-2391, ext. 1226 for more information.

Check your district for relative information.

Cassandra Jenkins is a news reporter for Port Arthur Newsmedia. She can be reached at