No more free lunches for students - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

No more free lunches for students

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December 14, 2003

Dougherty County - The Dougherty County School Board is taking away free lunches for many students.

After a year of freebies, what do parents think?

During the afternoon, students are taking in brain food. First Grader, Dinah Harris says, "It helps me grow into a big girl." Her classmate Brandon Sibley adds, "I like to grow big and strong if they have vegetables."

The cost is nothing. Brandon says, "Because it's in school and you don't have to pay for lunch."

But in a few months free lunches will be a thing of the past for some. Dougherty County parents say no lunch payments makes parenthood easier. Parent of twins and a teenager, Zelda Wright, says, "You know, that's an extra expense you don't have to worry about, it puts money back into your pocket."

The school system is out of pocket more than three-million dollars. The universal free lunch started only a year ago. Brandon points, "We just go in there and get our food."

They'll still get free breakfast. Wright smiles, "That's great, that's great."

These kids may not have lunch money today, but they'll need lunch money to grow big come February.

On the old program, lunch cost elementary students $5.00 a week ($1.00 a day) and $6.25 a week ($1.25 a day) for High school and Middle School students.

Those who qualified for free or reduced priced lunches before the universal free lunch program will need to re-apply.

posted at 6:15PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com