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MNPS Summer Meals Program begins Monday

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Starting Monday, Metro Nashville Public Schools will continue to serve students with wraparound services through its Summer Meals Program, which addresses hunger during summer break.

Through the district’s Nutrition Services Department, the Department of Extended Learning Programs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, three locations in Nashville will provide meals to help fill the summer break nutritional gap.

According to the Tennessee Department of Human Services, one in four children face hunger every day.

Jacquline Mullins Sampson says, "There's so much red tape for anybody to get any help. It just makes me sick."

Mullins Sampson started the Little Free Pantry in Hermitage nearly two years ago. The donated food and items are all free around the clock for her neighborhood.

"Sometimes two days before pay day, they have no money, they have no way and they do without, so I knew it had to succeed," says Mullins Sampson.

Metro Nashville Public Schools is doing its part to help students and families succeed with the Summer Meals Program.

The program is free to children ages 0 to 18, regardless of whether or not they attend Metro Schools. Adults aged 19 and over can receive meals at a reduced cost of $3.75. There are no income requirements or registration. It is paid for through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and comes to Nashville at no net cost to taxpayers.

Students with access to high quality meals during the summer, stay healthier and perform better when school begins in the fall.

“We are excited to be able to serve meals to our students and their families again this summer - our goal is to meet their nutrition needs when school is not in session,” Jennifer Bell, MNPS’ director of extended learning programs said. “Summer meals is also a way to keep students engaged in schools by getting them back into those physical locations and interacting with our staff.”

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