NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Americans are getting a break from inflation in some areas, but those grocery bills continue to rise.

Many families rely on free meals at school to keep their kids from going hungry. Next week is spring break for Metro Nashville Public Schools. Kenya Bass is working to help families who need food for that week through the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. She is the Community Achieves site manager with MNPS.

“The inflation we experienced during COVID we saw grocery prices tip as high 13.5 percent over a year ago,” said Daniel Smith, MTSU economics professor.

Smith said he knew it’s tough for families to keep up with the higher prices.

Food prices increased 2.6% from January 2023 to January 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Smith thinks there could be some relief in the near future.

“We’ve seen it go down since it’s spiked in 2022. The amount of inflation has been declining.“I’d expect that all the trends will continue to go down,” Smith explained.

Bass never wants to see a child go hungry.

“It’s always been here, but I do believe with prices and inflation all of those things have made it harder for people to provide for their families,” Bass said.

She’s grateful to provide some relief for families, but also bring them a little comfort.

“To take some of that stress away and provide some source of food for them, so they can enjoy spring break and it’s not a worry for them,” Bass added.

In addition to providing food, Metro Schools has several programs in place to also help families get clothing and household items.

Learn more about the Community Achieves initiative here.

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I have two boys in elementary school, so as the school voucher debate takes center stage again – I wanted to really understand this issue. Arizona started its school voucher program 13 years ago and is the first state in the nation to offer universal school vouchers. That’s what Governor Lee is proposing in two years. I leaned on the expertise of an investigative reporter in Arizona – and she came through with facts, figures and plenty of insight. This reporting gave me a lot to think about as a mom and a taxpayer. I think it will for you too.

-Carrie Sharp

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