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      Free lunches for all Dougherty County students

      Starting next year all Dougherty County students will be eligible for free lunch as well as free breakfast thanks to a new motion made by the school board during their meeting on Monday night.

      Members unanimously voted to become part of the Community Eligibility Option program that provides the food regardless of financial need.

      School officials say while 55% of the county already qualified for free or reduced lunch, some weren't taking advantage of it and this will make it possible for all students without filling out any paperwork.

      "Some would be willing to fill out that information, some wouldn't so we're able to capture and we're able to make breakfast and lunch at no cost universal for everyone in our system, said Interim School Nutrition Director Blaine Allen.

      Allen says they'll be sending out paperwork to all parents in the county to explain how the program works so that everyone will be ready when students head back to school in August.

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