Tomball ISD Child Nutrition Unveils New Afterschool Meals Program

TOMBALL - Tomball ISD continues to strive to go above and beyond for the well-being of every student it serves district-wide. Whether it's an afterschool activity or an enrichment program, Tomball ISD has placed an emphasis on serving students at the highest levels across all departments.

The Child Nutrition Department, led by Director Whitney Johnson, has shifted its focus from school meals to the ‘providing nutritionally sound meal choices, attractively served in a pleasant environment by professionally trained staff members.’

From innovative meal choices to a nutritionally-based plan, the Child Nutrition Department added to its repertoire and unveiled a new Afterschool Meals Program to Tomball ISD students at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. 

The Afterschool Meals Program provides students who participate in afterschool and extracurricular activities with healthy meals at no cost to the student.

“We noticed a desire for this program as many of our students participated in athletics, fine arts or academic extracurricular activities. This program is a benefit to Tomball ISD because it provides our students an extra source of nutrition that will hold them over before they return home from their extended school day,” Johnson said.

In order to provide this service, organizations have to meet the following criteria:

  1. be organized primarily to provide care for children after school
  2. provide organized, regularly scheduled activities
  3. include educational or enrichment activities open to all students
  4. be located in an eligible area

Tomball High School met the necessary criteria to host the new program. This program is funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and they work with State agencies to administer the program and communicate with both USDA and Tomball ISD. 

Currently, breakfast and lunch meals are offered through a reimbursement program based on student’s eligibility, free, reduced or paid. The Afterschool Meals Program is also an entitlement program similar to breakfast and lunch.

The money Tomball ISD receives through the reimbursement program is put directly back into the cost of meals and labor to provide the best nutrition and quality for all students.

Due to the high volume of students remaining on campus after school hours for extracurricular activities or tutoring made Tomball High School an ideal location for the hosting site of this new program. This program is not only available to just Tomball High School students, but open to all Tomball ISD students at no cost. Students must find their own transportation to THS for the after school program.

The program currently serves afterschool meals at no cost from 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in the cafeteria at Tomball High School. 

The Afterschool Meals Program has proven its success thus far, serving over 200 meals a day during the first two weeks of school. 

“We will continue to monitor the Afterschool Meals Program and the logistics we have put in place to begin the program and make changes if we feel like they are needed. We are very pleased with the response thus far and are happy to provide our students this service after a long day in the classroom,” Johnson said.