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. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  5. Nutrition and Meals
  6. WIC Benefits
  7. Home Safety


Schools and Learning Resources

Shelby County Schools (SCS) is delaying the return to in-person learning due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases in Shelby County. The District had planned to reopen schools on January 4; however, the phased reopening will be delayed. Schools will reopen no earlier than the second semester, February 8 (Pre-K-5) and February 22 (6-12). Learn more here.

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 location 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.

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.

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 poicy 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.

Learn more about the program here.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

TANF recipients can apply for emergency cash in addition to unemployment benefits. These benefits may provide up to $1,000 per month for two months. To be eligible, applicants must have a valid social security number, a child under 18 or a pregnant woman in their family, and they must have been employed as of March 11, 2020 but have since lost employment or at least 50% of their earned income due to COVID-19. Learn more here.


Student Meals

Starting September 3, 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 through May 31, 2020. 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.