Every P.E.I. school student should get a free lunch, says the leader of the Island's NDP.

Mike Redmond -Custom

A school lunch program would pay off with a healthier, better educated population, says NDP Leader Mike Redmond. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

Mike Redmond said free lunches for all would make students healthier and able to learn more. He says the program would cost $4 million, but argues in the long run there would be payback from a healthier, better educated population.

"The most important aspect of providing it is to ensure that everybody, not only do they eat, but they eat a balanced diet," he said.

"We know kids are lacking basic food nutrition and proper nutrition. So this ensures that that happens. It also can drive our agricultural industry on Prince Edward Island."

Redmond said even students who can afford a lunch should get one free of charge.

He plans to make the idea a provincial election campaign issue.