SHELBYVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Adam Zanghi is a father of two and soon to be three. Not only that, but he’s also in school full time.
“I’m a full time student. So trying to finish my RN. So i was planning on getting a part time job and that’s not going to happen. My wife has a full time job. Now there’s no way I could go part-time, I gotta stay home with them,” Zanghi said.
He says he would never let his kids go hungry, but with money tight and the pandemic not slowing down, it’s been a stressful couple of months.
“We used to go pick up food at the schools, and that’s cut off--they don’t do that anymore,” Zanghi said.
It’s why he applied for the P-EBT program. A service from the State Department of Human Services that helps families of children who receive free or reduced meals at school. Zanghi applied back in June and got approved, but he is still waiting on his P-EBT card to arrive.
“I mean I have two children. I mean, I don’t expect people to take care of my kids, but, I mean it helps during the school time with paid lunches and stuff , so they said we should have it around--the note originally said the second week in July,” Zanghi said.
Zanghi isn’t the only one in this situation. School lunches help millions of families feed their kids.
A June article by Business Insider shows statistics from No Kid Hungry, a National Campaign highlighting Hunger and Poverty in the U.S.
During the summer time, families have to buy more food than normal, something that can strain the families budget. Especially low-income. On Average, grocery store costs can rise more than $300 a month when school is out.
Throw a pandemic on top, and the struggle reaches new heights for many families. News 4 reached out to the Department of Human Services. They replied:
Thank you for letting us know about this customer’s concern. The Department of Human Service is reaching out to him directly to provide an update. Any other customers that have questions about their P-EBT cases are encouraged to call our Family Assistance Service Center at 1-866-311-4287 or fill out a customer inquiry here.
Due to the volume of P-EBT cards being issued in Tennessee and many other states by our vendor, we are experiencing higher than normal demand for production and mailing of the cards. Because of this, some of Tennessee’s cards are being mailed later than normal.
“People are irritated, they’re upset and they’re sick of being lied to. And the state’s just not telling anybody anything,” Zanghi said.