JASPER, Ala. (WIAT) — Walker County Schools announced Monday that students will get free lunch this upcoming school year.

Starting in August, all Walker County students will get free breakfast and lunch for the duration of the school year. Education leaders said this is going to have a huge impact on students and their families.

The announcement is part of a USDA program called the “Community Eligibility Program.” Superintendent Dr. Dennis Willingham said the program is based on certain criteria. Based on Walker County’s percentage of free and reduced lunch numbers the district was eligible for the program.

Willingham said this will be a huge relief for many families.

“We have so many homes in our school district where children are raised by their grandparents, raised by their aunts or uncles, in fosters homes, single parent homes,” Willingham said. “There’s so much stress in a lot of our homes that deal with financing and budgeting within the home. This alleviates a lot of that stress.”

Willingham said free lunches will start on the first day of school and will continue until the end of the school year. It includes all students from kindergarten through 12th grade regardless of income.

Dr. Willingham said the district plans to re-apply for the program again for the next school year. School starts back on August 9.