New program to cover school lunch for all

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SHERMAN, TX--- A new program taking affect next fall could pay for lunch for many students across the area.

"If you're hungry and you're worried about where you're going to get your next meal, it's kind of hard to learn." said Boettger.

This is something that Denison High School Principal Dr. Cavin Boettger sees everyday. And that's why he is excited about the new direction in school nutrition around the nation.

A program which provides free meals to low-income students is being expanded and will soon be called the Community Eligibility Option. This means that if over 40 percent of a districts students are considered economically disadvantaged, then all students can receive free meals.

"I think it's a very important part of establishing a positive learning environment tat we take care of students basic needs, so that they can focus on higher learning needs." said Boettger

According to the Texas Education Agency, 62% of students in Denison ISD are low income. Sherman ISD sits higher at 66%. By serving the entire school with free meals it can provide all students an equal opportunity to think with their brains instead of with their stomachs, something cafeteria manager Rhonda Hagen agrees with.

"When their stomachs are full, and their bodies have the nutrients they need, it makes them all function on a level laying field." said Gaven.

"For many students it's the only meal they get, they don't have an evening meal, there's not enough food in the house." said Boettger

The new universal option is set to take affect nationwide in the 2014-2015 school year.

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