STAFFORDSVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Friday was the first day of school in Johnson County, Ky., and the day started with a free breakfast.
This is the second year the county's school district is offering free breakfast and lunch to all students, regardless of income.
"We saw a need in our community and obviously qualified for it," said Marsha Young, the district's nutrition director. "It just make sense of the student and their families. It's saving them, on average, more than $500 a year for each student."
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 has allowed the USDA to make reform to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutritional and hunger safety net for millions of children.
Highland Elementary School Principal Thom Cochran says he's noticing a difference in the classrooms, as well. Since providing free breakfast, the enrollment has tripled.
"Tardiness has greatly decreased since we started this program," Cochran said. "I can not imagine anything other than performance to rise."
The district is providing roughly 7,200 meals a day.
Several eastern Kentucky school districts are providing this program. The latest one is Lawrence County's School District, which started its first day of school Thursday.