MISSION - The first shipments of food from the national Meals-To-You program have started arriving at the homes of many families in Mission Consolidated Independent School District (CISD). Mission CISD was not only the first school district in the state to gain approval by the national program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Baylor University, but Mission CISD families are also the first in the state to start receiving their meals for students. Through the Meals-To-You program, the enrolled families are now receiving shipments every two weeks for the duration of the COVID-19 school closure. Each shipment contains 10 meals a week (5 breakfasts, 5 lunches) for each qualifying child in the household.

“It was such a hard decision when we had to suspend our grab and go meals distribution to students,” said Dr. Carol G. Perez, superintendent. “We know so many of our families depend upon our meal services. So when we heard about the emergency Meals-To-You opportunity shortly after we suspended our services, we immediately began the application process with the hopes this would come through for our families.”

Dr. Perez said the district was able to complete the enrollment verification process for 10,581 district students and about 1,200 children ages 12 months to 3 years of age. 800 parents declined the meals. Dr. Perez also said the district was not able to complete the process for some students even after numerous phone calls were unanswered within the tight deadline we had with the Meals-To-You program.

“It is our hope that we will get another enrollment window of opportunity from the Meals-To-You program administrators that will allow more of our families to possibly benefit from the program,” Perez added. “We know there is still a need there and we are continuing to look for other programs that may be able to offer some assistance.”

Officials at Baylor University indicated that Mission CISD was the first of 40 districts in the state to get an application submitted to the program, approved by the program, and now deliveries of the food to families. They indicate about a quarter of the Texas districts that have applications in process are from the Region One Education Service Center area.

All foods sent by the Meals-To-You program are shelf-stable, which means parents don’t have to worry about them expiring anytime soon. With Meals-to-You, kid-friendly meals are delivered—for FREE—directly to the families so they won’t have to worry about:

· Extra trips to the grocery store

· Extra money spent on food

· Extra time planning meals your kids will like

If parents aren’t home when the box is delivered, no worries. The boxes are packed for security, and because the food is shelf-stable, parents don’t have to worry about refrigerating the foods immediately. Meals-to-You also indicates that receiving the benefit will NOT affect any other existing benefits a family may receive.