Dallas ISD started serving meals curbside in March 2020 as the pandemic shut down schools. The district never looked back, serving tens of millions of meals in new and different ways.
"Even before pandemic hit, many areas of our city were economically challenged and the pandemic just amplified those damages. So we were proud to be on the front lines and helping Dallas children every single week from March up until now," said Michael Rosenberger, the district's executive director for Food and Child Nutrition Services.
But this week, schools that had hosted the free curbside meals stopped. The new school year will bring a return to traditional meal service.
As of now, traditional meal service will begin at each campus based on their return to school schedule. Visit www.dallasisd.org/schoolcalendars to see which calendar your school has.
Return to school schedule:
- Monday, Aug. 2, 2021: Schools with a School Day Redesign calendar start
- Monday, Aug. 9, 2021: Schools with an Intersession calendar start
- Monday, Aug. 16, 2021: Schools with a base calendar start
"We need time to reset, reorganize, move some equipment back around from the sites that had been serving curbside to back to where it came from so that all the campuses are ready," Fletcher said.
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"From day one, breakfast and lunch are going to be available at no cost to all students. So, when students report, come hungry. We're gonna have lots of great food for you," Rosenberger said.
And, should covid cases cause disruptions again, the lunch lines will keep moving.
"Frankly, we're ready for everything from a 100% normal return to school by students to potentially, this new variant causing significant problems and whatever happens, we are gonna be here for the children of Dallas ISD," Rosenberger said.
"If we've learned anything this last year, it's how to be so flexible we can be ready for any circumstances that arise," Fletcher said.
Rosenberger pointed to one new idea that will continue in the fall.
"We have a number of students who are homebound, ad they may be at home for various reasons like COVID protocol for a couple of weeks or other things could be happening. And what we've started doing just this summer, is home deliveries for these homebound students. So we're able to provide them with a week's worth of food as well. So, that's just one example of our commitment to be there for our students wherever they are," he said.
Families that need help fighting hunger until school starts can call 211 or text FOODTX to 877-877 to find organizations providing meals to the community.