Some parents in Hillsborough County, Florida are under fire after being caught selling free school meals online. The Hillsborough County superintendent is labeling the practice as “undesired behaviors,” per CNN.
The school district has the “Grab-and-Go” meal program to help families out during the coronavirus pandemic. However, some parents are taking advantage by trying to get more than one round of meals and selling extra meals online.
“We had some individuals who made undesired behaviors last week but we stand ready with new organizational controls you know hats off to operations and the IT [information technology] department for helping us with this process,” Superintendent Addison Davis said, as reported by CNN.
Screenshots show the school meals being advertised on what looks like Facebook. Last week, at least 47 cars were turned away because they already had school food in the car upon drive up.
The Grab-and-Go meal program started its once-a-week pick-up strategy on April 15. Rather than daily distribution of school meals, parents could pick up a week’s worth of school meals to further limit contact between families and staff. The meal plan includes one pound of lunch meat, a loaf of bread, milk, juice and snacks.
In order to prevent future incidents, staff members are now using a meal tracker. Parents must provide their child’s name and student ID number to make sure parents don’t cheat the system and prevent others from accessing the free meals.
According to the school district’s Facebook, the updates have done nothing to limit students from getting free meals. One post said, “Thank you to our families for being patient through our new Grab-and-Go process today. We served 672,470 meals!”