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Free Lunch For All

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HPSD Free Lunch HPSD Free Lunch
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - For Hattiesburg Public School students classes start in less than two weeks. It's a new school year, a new beginning, with free lunch for everyone.

"I think that's wonderful, I think it's a good opportunity, especially for the unfortunate families who aren't able to pay for their food," Christy Horton, Former HPS student explained.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Hattiesburg Public School District is eligible for federal funding, since over 80 percent of their students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

"We have nine schools in our district...and all nine of our schools id qualify for the community eligibility program, Stephanie Hoze, HPS Child Nutrition Director told WHLT.

Making lunch free for all HPS students.

"They'll be able to each lunch and not have worry about whether they've got it or not or if they're short or whatever," said Ruth Pratt, HPS Food Services.

HPS Nutrition Director, Stephanie Hoze says nutrition and learning go hand and hand, and a hungry child cannot learn.

"This puts our students on the course of receiving those healthy and nutritional meals that they need to be successful in school," she said.

This year's change will benefit more children in the district at no cost to the families.

"There's no cost for textbooks, there's no cost for transportation, as they ride the bus the only time the child really would have to provide money on a school day is when they came to the cafeteria," Hoze explained.

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