BACK TO SCHOOL: Meal programs offer good food at good price


Providing nutritional meals is the goal of the all school district serving Chickasaw County children.

Mary Alice Marsh, Child Nutrition Director for Houston School District, said state and federal guidelines for the nutritional value and items offered, ensure student are getting a well-balanced meal that can help improve learning.

“All meals are planned and nutritionally analyzed in accordance with federal guidelines,” said Marsh. “New requirements this year will require kids to pick up a fruit or vegetable when they come through the line.”

Free and reduced-price meals are based on household size and household income. Parents may apply for free or reduced-price meals for their child at any time during the school year.

“If there is an increase in household size or decrease in income, that’s when parents need to apply or reapply,” said Marsh. “If you have questions just give us a call.”

Forms, assistance and details of federal reduced and free meal programs are available by contacting your student’s school office.



Houston School District Child Nutrition Department has 25 food service employees, including a certified school food service program manager at each school.

Houston School District meal prices are as follows:

– Houston Elementary Schools

Lunch – Full Price $2.25

Lunch – Reduced Price .40-cents

Lunch – Adults $3.25

Breakfast – Full Price $1.25

Breakfast – Reduced Price .30-cents

Breakfast – Adults $2

– Houston Secondary Schools

Lunch – Full Price $2.50

Lunch – Reduced Price .40-cents

Lunch – Adults $3.25

Breakfast – Full Price $1.25

Breakfast- Reduced Price .30-cents

Lunch – Adults $2



This year, Houlka has moved to a Provision 2 model that offers all students a free breakfast and lunch each day.




All students in the Okolona School District are covered under a non-pricing meal program by the state and federal government.

Under this program all students are eligible at no cost for both breakfast and lunch served at Okolona Elementary School and Okolona High School.

Breakfast is served each school day from 7:15 to 7:55 a.m., with lunch times varying from campus to campus and from grade to grade.

Parents or guardians are not required to fill out forms for free breakfast or lunch.


Meal eligibility

Students are eligible for free or reduced meal prices and free or reduce milk programs based on household size and income levels.

Free meals are available to students if the household is below 130-percent of the federal poverty guideline.

Reduced meals are available to students if the household is above the 130-percent federal poverty guideline but at or below the 185-percent mark.

Federal poverty guidelines are as follows, but it is to be noted there are exceptions and other factors that also determine reduced and free meal eligibility.

Household size – (Annual income) reduce meal or free meal:

1 – $20,665 or $14,521.

2 – $27,991 or $19,669.

3 – $35,317 or $24,817.

4 – $42,643 or $29,965.

5 – $49,969 or $35,113.

6 – $57,295 or $40,261.

7 – $64,621 or $45,409.

8 – $71,947 or $50,557.

Source: Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 57. March 2012.



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