Metro Nashville Public Schools offers free meals

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 6:40 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - We are just a couple of weeks away from school starting in Middle Tennessee, and Metro Schools is trying to make the return to the classroom easier for families by extending a free meal program that was set to expire this year.

All students have been given free breakfasts and lunches over the past couple of years under a federal COVID-19 relief program. Metro Schools said it will now use millions of dollars in additional COVID-19 money to continue the free meal program for all students over the next two years.

School leaders said the biggest impact will be in the nearly 30 schools that do not automatically get those free meal benefits due to the average family income, including Percy Priest Elementary School. Students at those schools would normally only get free school breakfasts and lunches if their family qualifies for certain individual programs.

Percy Priest Principal Russell Young said a simple meal makes a major impact in the classroom, and his teachers have seen the benefits of the breakfasts and lunches.

“It can be uncomfortable for a kid if they are unsure, they are where they stand with their classmates if they have this label as being someone who needs free and reduced lunch,” Young said. “That can be a difficult thing for them to manage. Especially for students who are in elementary school and really developing these dynamics.”

Metro Schools is asking any families that normally qualify for free or reduced meals to still apply for benefits. They can do so by clicking here. It will allow the school to get more federal funding for food and connect your family to additional benefits.

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