PITTSBURG (KYTX) - All students in at least half a dozen East Texas school districts will no longer have to pay for food at school. Pittsburg ISD is the latest to qualify for the new Community Eligibility Provisions provided by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
William Bunn is a parent of 2 children who go to Pittsburg ISD. He is glad the children who need free meals will get them, but he is upset he and others will be paying for children that don't need the help.
"I'm tired of liberalism, I am tired of Obama, and I am tired of the politics being forced upon us. I think it's time to stop it." - William Bunn, Parent
The National Education Association says children who go hungry at school feel sick, get distracted, act out and start to fall behind. Now Pittsburg ISD will be providing free breakfast, and lunch for all students this coming school year. The Community Eligibility Provision allows districts with high levels of low-income students to apply for the service. To qualify, more than 40% of students must be on SNAP, Temporary Assistance Program for Needy Families, in families with children in a headstart program, foster care, homeless, or migrant. It's 80 percent at Pittsburg ISD. Lydia Going with Region 8 says the program is valuable.
"I just feel it will help the parents out and the hardworking parents deserve a break." - Lydia Going, Child Nutrition Program Specialist for Region 8
And this will eliminate massive amounts of paperwork.
"It's time consuming for any school district." - Going
But Bunn thinks the money could've gone to other important issues.
"Why couldn't this be used for higher teacher salaries? or building improvements"" - Bunn
Other East Texas schools will also be receiving the program. Gladewater, Karnack,, Alto, and Westwood will also be on the list.
According to the Texas Education Agency, only a certain amount of money is allotted from the USDA to pay for the program in each district. If the district exceeds the allotted amount, it must pay the difference.