Metro’s free breakfast, lunch program for students off to strong start

The numbers are in for Metro schools new free breakfast and lunch program and it’s off to a strong start. 

In only a few days, Metro schools have seen a huge increase in the number of students utilizing the free federal program.

“By day three, we had served more than 16,700 additional meals over what we served last year,” Joe Bass with Metro Schools explained to Nashville’s News 2.  

He added that the cafeterias have served more than 9,000 additional lunches so far this year.  

“Those are students who would have brought their lunch from home or may not have eaten at all. Getting those nutrients is going to have an effect on their learning; it is going to have an effect on their discipline as well.” 

Bass added it’s not an easy task for the chefs who must serve a nutritious meal that includes a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy and a whole grain item and only spend a $1.18 to do it. 

“It’s a herculean task, my mind boggles when I think about how they are going to do that every day and also make it taste good, because that’s the key, because if it doesn’t taste good the kids aren’t going to eat it,” Bass said.  

The school system did use the free and reduced meals application to track families who are economically disadvantaged. 

Bass said schools rely on that information for federal, state and technology funding, but they have found a new way to track it. 

All students will bring home a Household Information Survey on August 26 that will need to be filled out.  

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