Dougherty County school officials will have an extra $250,000 to spend on school lunch next year.
The school system is now certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to receive an additional six cents per meal.
This increase takes the cost of each meal from $2.88 to $2.94.
School officials say since all Dougherty County students will be eligible for free lunch next year, the additional funds will come in handy.
"Anytime your participation increases, your food costs and labor costs will have a tendency to increase as well. So this six cents helps us out with balancing our costs and making sure that we're staying within our budget," said Blaine Allen, DCSS Director of Nutritional Services.
He says the new funds will also allow schools to purchase healthier options and popular menu choices.
The six cent increase was awarded after USDA officials visited five Albany schools to make sure they were following nutritional guidelines. The Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Program (GaDOE SNP) certified that Dougherty County School Nutrition met all qualifications of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) new meal pattern for breakfast and lunch.
The school system will be eligible to receive additional funding for three years.