Some parents spend close to $10 dollars a week for their child to eat lunch and snacks at school.


Sumter, SC (WLTX) - With three week until the start of the 2014 school year, here's some good news for parents in Sumter County. Every child no matter if they qualify for free and reduced lunch or not, will receive free lunch.

Close to 80% of the students in Sumter County qualify for free and reduced lunch.

Because of that high number, the district is now able to provide free lunch for all students under the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act.

"Some kids come to school hungry and are even waiting to get the lunch just to eat," said Sumter parent, Makesha Kennedy.

Some parents spend close to $10 dollars a week for their child to eat lunch and snacks at school.

As small as that amount may sound, it can add up.

Sumter Superintendent Frank Baker says having high a high poverty level isn't a stat to brag about, but because of it; no parent will have to worry about giving their child money for food.

"That's going to be an impact to those parents, because regardless of what financial level you are at, with the economy being what it is, every little bit will help," said Baker.

Kennedy has a high school student and she says she gives her daughter about $7 a day for food and snacks at school.

Now with the free lunch, she says its money that could be saved for other expenses.

"I think for those who have to pay out of pocket it will help them save money and for those who can't afford it, its good because they know they can still study and not be hungry," said Kennedy.

Dr. Baker says this will also help the district save money by doing away with applications for free and reduced lunches and the costs that come from bounced checks.

As for those who work at the register, Baker says they will still be employed but work in a different capacity, like helping prepare meals.

"It will give more working time and labor hours in the preparation and serving of that food," said Baker.

Clarendon County School District Two is also eligible for the program and lunch will be free for all student in that district as well.

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