Food and Nutrition Program Will Help Parents and Schools

foodThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently announced the nationwide availability of a key provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, aimed at reducing child hunger: the Community Eligibility Provision. Beginning July 1, 2014, eligible school districts in Tennessee will be able to provide free school meals to students in high poverty areas. The Community Eligibility Provision alleviates the burden on families in Tennessee by eliminating household applications for school meals programs, while helping eligible districts reduce costs associated with collecting and processing those applications.
“The Community Eligibility Provision provides more eligible children with access to the healthy school meals offered through the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast program, while streamlining paperwork for parents and schools.
Children in 10.1 percent of Tennessee households are food insecure: they may have to eat lower quality or less variety of foods, or have to skip meals because there is not enough food. Ninety of Tennessee’s school districts are eligible to participate for all schools in their district. This could benefit at least 784 schools in Tennessee and more than 364,674 Tennessee students. Manchester City Schools is the only local system eligible to participate. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including school meals programs. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger. Visit for information about FNS and nutrition assistance programs.