Free School Meals – Turn Your Brown Bag Into Green

Does the idea of making another ham and cheese or PB&J sandwich for your kids for lunch leave you feeling tired and uninspired? If so, now you can send your kids to school free of the brown bag and turn it into a lot of green. 

School lunches are free for the rest of the year. That’s right… F-R-E-E. They won’t cost you a cent. Your kids get a hot meal and you won’t have to lift a finger to make another lunch until next August. Even better, this deal may save you hundreds of dollars by the end of the school year.  

The Free Meal Deal 

Nothing is free anymore, right? So what’s the catch?  

Membership and participation are required. If your kid is a student at a Comal ISD school, you’re already a member. Check. When they sit down to eat a meal in the school cafeteria, they become a participant. Check.  

Comal ISD has been serving free breakfasts and lunches, on campus and curbside pickup, since early October. The district opted into a USDA program that offers nutritious meals at no cost to students through the end of the school year. The program also speeds up meal service as more students come back to campus during the pandemic.

How Does the Deal Work?  

Normallya hot meal at one of our elementary schools costs $2.55, while middle and high school students pay $2.75Now, your kids can pick up a tasty, hot meal for FREE such as: 

  • Honey sriracha chicken with brown rice and an egg roll 
  • Cheese pizza with Caesar salad on the side 
  • A classic cheeseburger, a chicken breast sandwich, or a ranch chicken wrap  
  • Add a fruit or vegetable and a milk or a cup of water. 

All are packaged safely in a closed plastic container. Any extras, like snacks and drinks, cost extra.  

See what’s cooking at your school in the coming weeks. 

How Can You Save Money?  

The estimated price for a typical, brown bag lunch – including a ham and cheese sandwich on wheat bread ($1.09), a bag of chips ($0.30), cookies ($0.30), an apple ($0.85) and a drink ($0.23) – made at home is $2.77 (based on prices at a local grocery retailer). 

This lunch is prepared with time and convenience in mind. The healthier and more sophisticated a homemade lunch is, the more it will cost and the more time it will take to prepare. 

Based on this example, the cost for a homemade lunch for a week (5 lunches at $2.77 each) is $13.85, compared to FREE for the five lunches prepared at school. 

The Savings Can Add Up 

Try this… go cold turkey on brown bag lunches. If you start now, there would be 26 weeks of school left (through May 27), not counting Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring Breaks and seven holidays. The costs for one kid to brown bag it for the rest of the year would be $340.71 (26 weeks at $13.85/week = $360.10. Subtract seven holidays = $19.39) 

Therefore, if your kid eats a FREE school lunch every day instead of a homemade lunch for the rest of the school year, you could save $340! For two kids, your savings could be almost $700!  Save more if you also try the free breakfast. 

In trying economic times, extra money can take pressure off your monthly budget and may help you pay an electric bill, cover a medical expense, or make a car payment.  Even better, your grocery list will get shorter and you’ll get time back each week by not having to fill brown bags for your kids.  

Save yourself time and money. Turn brown into a lot of green. Take advantage of the free meal deal at your schools.