NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville Public Schools is making sure students don't go hungry. The district just announced it is offering free lunches again this school year.
Students were provided free lunch this past year because of federal waivers, but the program ended. The district was left to find other options to keep kids fed without families having to pay.
Now, $7.5 million will be budgeted for the next two school years using COVID-19 relief funds to help close the gap created by the end of federal waivers.
That will provide free lunches for all students across the district. Breakfast will continue to remain free at all schools.
“I firmly believe that the ability to pay should never be a factor or consideration for a student who wants and needs a nutritious meal,” said MNPS Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle. “It is not only the moral and right thing to do to provide all students with a free meal, it will also benefit their academic and social-emotional growth throughout the school day.”
The district does ask people who qualify for free and reduced lunches to still apply for that specific program because that reduces the funding required.