Food Assistance, Children and Families

On this Page

  1. Schools and Learning Resources
  2. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  3. P-EBT Program: Financial Assistance for Missed School Meals
  4. Nutrition and Meals
  5. WIC Benefits
  6. Home Safety


Schools and Learning Resources

Shelby County Schools (SCS) have returned to in-person learning for those who chose to do so.

  • Students in grades Pre-K - 5 returned March 1, and students in grades 6-12 returned March 8. Students with disabilities or in self-contained classrooms will return within their grade bands.
  • Virtual instruction will continue for all students whose families chose to remain virtual. Parents who would like to change their child's learning option to either in-person or virtual may contact their school. These changes would take effect for the remainder of the school year.
  • Meals will be served daily in schools, and weekly pick up will still be available for students who learn virtually.

Here are additional learning materials from the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP recipients are now able to use their benefits to buy authorized food items online through Amazon and from Walmart and Aldi locations across the state. SNAP benefits cannot be used for delivery fees and SNAP recipients who receive cash benefits on their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards will not be able to apply those non-SNAP benefits to online purchases. Families can access this new resource by entering their EBT card information on Amazon's SNAP-dedicated website, following Walmart's guidelines for SNAP online purchasing, or entering their EBT card information on Aldi's online shopping site. For more information, please click here.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the State of Tennessee can issue Emergency Allotments to current SNAP households up to the maximum monthly allotment for any given household. All Emergency Allotments will be delivered on current SNAP households’ EBT cards.

Apply for SNAP benefits here. For more information on SNAP benefits and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s response to coronavirus pandemic, please click here.

P-EBT Program: Financial Assistance for Missed School Meals

Under a new Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program, families of children who receive free or reduced-price meals at school may be eligible to receive financial assistance for missed school meals during due to COVID-19 school closures. The program will provide parents with $5.70 per child for each day that child qualifies for P-EBT. Learn more about the program here.

The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is directly mailing P-EBT cards for meals missed during the fall 2020 school semester to eligible families. There is no need to apply for P-EBT benefits.

Initially, TDHS forced many Tennesseans to apply for this program, creating an unnecessary and wasteful barrier to access. As a result, many Tennessee families did not access this program. I wrote to TDHS several times urging it to reverse this harmful policy and send the P-EBT cards directly to eligible families, as did other states, and I welcomed the news that TDHS decided to do so for semester meals. Starting in March 2021, new P-EBT Cards have been mailed directly to students that qualify. Your school will send DHS information about eligible students.

An online portal has been created for you to access to make sure TDHS has the right address. The portal can be accessed here. Please check/update your address to ensure you receive your P-EBT card(s). Parents can also make changes, see how much your child will be receiving, or decline to participate if your family prefers not to receive assistance.

P-EBT Round 3 (October 2020 through the end of the current school year)

Round 3 of Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) provides financial assistance to replace school meals that were missed beginning in October 2020 due to school closures, virtual learning, or hybrid school schedules. For this round, children that qualify will be mailed a P-EBT card that can be used to buy food for your children at retailers that accept EBT Cards, or online with Amazon, Walmart , Aldi (via Instacart) and Food Lion (via Instacart). Unlike past rounds of P-EBT, these cards will be reloaded with P-EBT benefits each month as long as the USDA continues the program

To be eligible for P-EBT Round 3, students must:

  • Receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (or) Attend a Community Eligibility Provision school
  • Have missed in school meals because the school was closed or operated at reduced attendance for at least 5 consecutive days in the 2020-2021 school year


Student Meals

Families can visit their school every Thursday (9 a.m. - 12 p.m. & 1 - 5 p.m.) to get five-day breakfast and lunch packs. Pre-K students will get five days of snacks. Food items will be prepared in school cafeterias and safely distributed in a drive-thru pick-up line. Parents who cannot pick up on Thursdays may get their meals on Fridays (7 – 9 a.m.). To learn more, click here.

Through the summer, the YMCA will be distributing free meals for students at over 60 community sites throughout Shelby County. The Mid-South Food Bank is also providing meals for students throughout Memphis. For more information, please visit

WIC Benefits

Tennessee has waived requirements that individuals be physically present in order to receive Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits. These benefits can now be automatically loaded onto a WIC card. See details here:


Home Safety

With kids spending so much time at home, the risk of injuries can increase. Please view these resources to help keep kids safe at home.