According to a recent New York Times article titled, ” Lines Grow for Free School Meals Thanks to Economy,” by Sam Dillion there is a breathtaking increase in the number of students now enrolling in the free meals program.
Last Year, the Department of Agriculture, the department responsible for administering the meals programs throughout the nation’s public schools, cited a 17 percent increase in students receiving subsidized lunch. In 2010 there were 21 million students enrolled in the program. This increased from 18 million enrolled in the program during the 2006-2007 academic school year.
To qualify for free lunch, a family must be in the 130 percent of poverty level bracket. This equates to a family household income of $29,055 for a family of 4 members. To receive reduced lunch the family income must not surpass $41,348 for a household of 4 members. If the family’s income meets this standard then the reduce rate is 40 cents for the meal daily.
Although, most experts believe that most of the increase enrollment in the meals program is directly related to increase poverty being experienced by families across the nation, the experts also say it is not the only factor to consider.
In 2004 congress passed what is known as the direct certificate requirement. This requires schools districts to essentially match the students receiving food stamps with their enrollment records and automatically enroll these students in the meals program. It is noted that more and more school districts are following the congressional requirement.… <Read More>