All SCS Students To Receive Free Meals Via Federal Grant Program

(Memphis) Shelby County students will get free meals next year thanks to the federal government.

That includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“Every student. Every day. Every school,” said Tony Geraci, who is with SCS Nutrition services.

No matter the family’s income or story, every Shelby County student will get free breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The federal government will pay for it all using taxpayer money.

Geraci said he worked hard to get it.

There’s no sign up. No money will even be in the cafeterias next year.

Plus, Geraci said it will save the district some money, because they will get reimbursed more than what a student pays for a lunch.

“It provides access to nutritious meals to kids. Many qualify to receive those meals, but because of the stigma, they choose not to use those meal,” said Geraci.

The board will not vote on the free meals.

“It is not going to require a vote. It is an application process and will be a matter ultimately decided by the Superintendent,” said a SCS spokesperson.

While that’s a done deal, board members will spend the next several months discussing a plan to give every student an electronic tablet or laptop.

The idea is to get students engaged in technology and prepare them for college or the work force.

Purchasing tablets and computers for every student could be pricey. It could cost up to $13 million.

When Memphis City Schools tried this before, one fourth of devices disappeared.

When the district is facing close to a $50 million deficit, some board members don’t know where the money will come from.

“You know we will be a smaller district, so their could be many cost savings elsewhere,” said board member Chris Caldwell.

Board members said there is a lot of details that still need to be worked out including the price.

If they do approve it, they will start the program in 16 schools, see of it works, and then expand it.


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