Free lunches for all?

Dougherty County currently has 56% of its students who qualify for free lunches. / Sean Streicher

The Dougherty County School System is looking into joining a program that would provide free lunches for every student.

The Community Eligibility Option offers communities where over 45% of its students qualify for free and reduced lunches the chance to provide free meals for every student regardless of financial need. Dougherty County currently has 56% of its students who qualify. Through this program, the United States Department of Agriculture will reimburse the school system for the cost of the lunches.

"It'll generate more revenue, it'll save money, and it'll provide all of our students in the Dougherty County School System an opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch at no cost to them," said Kenneth Dyer, Dougherty County School System Finance Director.

The school system is waiting to hear back from the state on whether or not this program will affect of programs, like Title I funding, before they present this option to the school board.