TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - More than 80 percent of Toledo Public Schools students would or do qualify for a free or reduced lunch.
So, TPS offers free meals to all the schools they can, but not all schools are eligible.
Start High School, Bowsher High School, Toledo Early College and Toledo Technology Academy are not included in the list.
Superintendent Dr. Romules Durant says the neighborhoods where the schools are don't meet a certain level of poverty.
"Just by federal mandate, we're not allowed to be able to do that," said Dr. Durant.
The percent of students who qualified for a free meal at those four schools in 2017 compared to 2016 is down.
However, the percent of students qualifying for a reduced meal went up at all but one school.
The rest of TPS, more than forty schools, offer free meals.
"It alleviated some of the hardship because there are parents who are not eligible, but are still struggling," said Dr. Durant.
He says when kids are hungry, they're not concentrating.
"When you're able to fuel a child in a healthy way, is that they're able to be much more responsive in classrooms. They're less fatigued in the classroom,
and they're more attentive to what the teacher has to teach," said Dr. Durant.
Dr. Durant says the food program pays for itself, since the school district is reimbursed based on the number of kids they take care of.
Offering free meals at all eligible schools is something Dr. Durant implemented since he becoming superintendent in 2013.
He just announced he'll be signing on for several more years.