Hillsborough schools change protocol on free meals program after parents caught cheating the system

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Thousands of parents and students once again picked up a week’s worth of food from various schools in Hillsborough County.

It’s part of the county’s “Grab and Go” system to make sure kids get food to eat while distance learning because of COVID-19.

This week, things were different, however. The district required parents to have their children’s student numbers because last week they claim some parents were going to multiple sites and even attempted to sell some of the free food they received online.

“In order to speed up the process and make sure the food is going to the kids it’s intended for, we’re asking for parents to come prepared to give student numbers or some information if they’re under school-age or they don’t go to Hillsborough County schools, like their name and birthdate, just to make sure that we can ensure the meals we provide are going to the kids,” said Nutrition Director Shani Hill.

There was some concern about whether kids in Pre-K could get food because they don’t have a student number. The answer is yes. But not just that, there were some children who are home-schooled that picked up today, they just had to give names and dates of birth and they were helped.

The district says they don’t want to turn any child away, however, the district ran out of supplies at two locations today.


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