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      Schools serve lunch at no cost

      The Dougherty County School System is slated to implement the Community Eligibility Option (CEO) for Free Meal Reimbursement in School Year 2014. Through CEO, the DCSS will offer meals at no charge to all students. This eliminates the procedure of distributing and processing meal applications.

      The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 includes the implementation of CEO to insure that every student in low-income neighborhoods can participate in the National School Lunch Program of Dougherty County and in the School Breakfast Program. To qualify, a district or school must have forty percent or more of its students eligible for free meals based on direct certification.

      By participating in CEO and eliminating the need for meal applications, the Dougherty County School System will reduce administrative and printing costs. Families also benefit from the elimination of completing and submitting meal applications.

      Implementation of the CEO will help the DCSS Child Nutrition Department meet its goal of fueling minds and bodies, getting students ready to learn and creating a healthy student body, says School Nutrition Interim Director, Blaine Allen.

      Georgia is one of 11 states selected to pilot this innovative program. CEO will be available to the entire country in School Year 2015.

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