As two systems become one, the district will offer all 140,000 students universal free breakfast and dinner every school day.
MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC-TV) - Another change to the new unified schools district includes plans to feed students up to three meals a day.
"Our job is to put healthy kids in front of educators that are ready to learn," said the Shelby County Schools District Central Nutrition Center director, Tony Geraci.
As two systems become one, Geraci said the district will offer all 140,000 students universal free breakfast and dinner every school day.
"This is all free. It's all fully funded through the federal government. We're the only school district in the Mid-South that's currently doing a free universal supper program. And it works," said Geraci.
Geraci said growing, active bodies need additional fuel. For some students, he says school provides the only meals they get. For others, he says dinner at home will not be ruined.
"It's not meant to take away from family meals. It's just meant to be a really nutrient dense after-school snack to tie them over until they get home," said Geraci. "If we're trying to keep our kids in school what better way than to offer some additional services?"
Federal funds reimburse the district for every meal. Geraci says the higher the participation rate, the better the deal.