UTICA, N.Y. (AP) — More than 10,000 students in the Utica City School District will be getting free meals when classes start this week, thanks to a federally funded program.

The Observer-Dispatch of Utica reports that due to the large number of students eligible for free or reduced lunch in the district, Utica was able to apply for the Community Eligibility Option, part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

That mean's students in city schools will get free lunch and breakfast for the upcoming school year.

According to the district, 71 percent of students qualified for free lunch and 5 percent for reduced prices.

District officials say the program will help relieve the administration costs associated with managing free and reduced lunches under the old system.