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July 15-- All students in the Toombs County school system will get free breakfasts and lunches when school starts in August.  The school system made the following announcement.

"Toombs County School Nutrition Program is slated to implement the Community Eligibility Option (CEO) for Free Meal Reimbursement in School Year 2014.  Through CEO, a school district, a group of schools or a single school may offer breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students. This eliminates the procedure of distributing and processing meal applications.

Toombs County School Nutrition Director Courtney Gay shared, “This program is a wonderful opportunity for our students and the Toombs County School Nutrition Program. Families will benefit from the money saved each month and in turn have those extra funds to spend in our community. It is a win-win for our students, families, school system, and community!”

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 (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP).  To qualify, a district or school must have 40 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, Toombs County School Nutrition Program will reduce administrative and printing costs.  Families also benefit from the elimination of completing and submitting meal applications. 

Toombs County School Superintendent Dr. Kim Corley added, “I am extremely excited that our system was selected to participate in this program. We strive to be proactive and implement programs that will benefit our students, parents, and community. This is another opportunity to make these educational stakeholders a priority in the Toombs County School System!”

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

The new program does not apply to the Vidalia City School System.  Superintendent Dr. Garrett Wilcox says the system did not have enough students receiving "free and reduced price" meals to apply for the program.