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Child Nutrition Program

Nutrition. Health. Wellness

Good nutrition and wellness are essential “daily ingredients” for students to achieve their academic and physical potential.

IDEA Public Schools’ Nutrition and Wellness Department is committed to creating a school culture that promotes and protects children’s health, well-being, and ability to learn by providing healthy and delicious meals as well as by encouraging good habits for eating and physical exercise.

With an estimated 150 Child Nutrition Program (CNP) employees throughout our campuses in the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, and Austin, we serve:

  • More than 12,000 student breakfasts every day
  • More than 14,000 student lunches every day
  • Our Nutrition and Wellness Department operates according to guidelines and regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which are administered at the state level by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). As part of this agreement, we also administer the Universal Free Breakfast Program, which enables us to feed all our students one free breakfast per day.

    Under the terms of this agreement; the IDEA Public Schools district serves meals that meet the following specific requirements:

    • Meals must be provided to all children without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability
    • We agree to accept and use USDA commodities
    • We operate on a nonprofit basis
    • We meet USDA and TDA nutritional requirements

    The following are links and important information for Academy and College Prep campuses.

    Free and Reduced Meal Application

    In an effort to make it easier for families to apply for free and reduced meals, CNP now provides online applications at SchoolCafe. Please visit the website and follow the on-screen instructions for the easiest and quickest way to apply for free and reduced meals. Families that apply online can also view their eligibility determination by visiting

    Check your F&R Application Status

    After you have submitted your application for meal benefits and it has been processed by IDEA’s Nutrition and Wellness Department, you can check your Free & Reduced Eligibility status online at Your status will be available within 24-48 hours after your application has been processed. With, there is no need to wait for a letter in the mail or call for your results!

    Special Diets

    The Nutrition and Wellness Department is pleased to accommodate our students who have special dietary needs with menu adjustments and modifications. The USDA has set forth guidelines governing the requirements for the implementation of special diets at the cafeteria level.

    Please print the Special Diet Form and take it to your physician or medical authority for them to complete.

    Smart Snacks

    IDEA complies with USDA’s nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students on our campuses campus during the school day.

    National School Breakfast Week

    Too many children across America go to school each morning hungry, and we know hungry children don’t learn as well as students who have eaten a good breakfast. A healthy breakfast helps students focus in the classroom and perform better. This is reflected in higher test scores and better classroom behavior by those students. That is why IDEA offers a FREE healthy breakfast every morning at our schools. Every school breakfast served meets federal nutrition standards limiting fat, calories, and sodium. We hope you will encourage your child to take an IDEA breakfast every day!

    To increase student participation in the School Breakfast Program. National School Breakfast week is a week-long celebration aimed at increasing awareness of the School Breakfast Program among students and parents.

    Wellness Policy

    The IDEA Child Nutrition Program is dedicated to becoming the healthiest school district in the nation.


    Fernando Aguilar
    CNP Assistant Director
    Cell 956-373-1748
    Desk 956-373-8091 Ext. 8262

    Dalia Pena
    CNP Assistant Director
    Cell 956-373-2802
    Desk 956-377-8023 Ext. 8023

    Donna Farrell
    CNP Assistant Director of Nutrition
    Phone 956.314.1556