“We’re going to feed them.” Those were the words of Bobbie Banks, the Food Services Director of the Senatobia Municipal School District in reference to a program to provide free breakfast and lunch to the children of Senatobia. The district announced the option in an automated messaging system that went out Sunday, Sept. 13. The meals are free to all students whether attending in person classes or virtually. Meals for virtual students may be picked up from either campus between 9:20 a.m. and 10:20 a.m. The funding for the meals is from a continuation of the Summer Food Service Program provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. On Aug. 31, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the USDA would extend several flexibilities through the last day of December 2020. “As our nation reopens and people return to work, it remains critical our children continue to receive safe, healthy, and nutritious food,” said Secretary Perdue in a press release. SMSD Superintendent Chris Fleming expanded on the notion put forward by Perdue. “The federal government saw a huge need. Not only in our area, but across the country,” said Fleming of the program. Fleming and Banks, both stressed that they hoped the community and students would feel more at ease about getting the free meals since they were provided to everyone regardless of home income levels. “Come take advantage. If you have three and four-year old’s at home, we will feed them,” Banks said. Meals are available to students up to the age of 18. As of Monday, Sept. 14, there were approximately 40 students participating and receiving the free meals according to Banks. By the following Thursday, she reported the numbers had jumped to an estimated 300 meals for lunch. “We have 1,700 students in the system, and she can feed all of them,” Fleming said of Banks’ ability to provide the meals. With the uncertainty of COVID-19 continuing to take its toll on Tate County, the school district hopes to help in a small way. “We just want to encourage parents to take advantage. In the mornings, it’s a free breakfast,” Fleming said. “It just makes things easier.” The menus for the week are posted ahead of time for parents to review and can be found on the district’s website at http://www.senatobiaschools.com.