GISD Chief Financial Officer Pam Sanchez said about 40% of the district’s students qualify for free and reduced meals. These meals qualify for Texas Department of Agriculture reimbursement.
But the district has also made it a point to offer meals to parents and guardians of students, as many have lost their jobs or may be struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic. The district does not get reimbursed for these meals, but officials said the district was willing to provide for anyone who drove through its meal line.
Even reimbursed meals do not cover the costs, GISD Director of Nutritional Services Tray Mitchell said. For example, an elementary student breakfast costs the district $1.65, but the TDA reimbursement rate is $0.30. To date, the cost of providing meals to students and families has been $11,858, he said.
Mitchell added that on average the district would be reimbursed at $244,568 per month for meals. Now, it is on track to be reimbursed about $76,508 per month, he said.
To cover those expenses, district officials have said they hope to receive federal coronavirus relief funding.