It seems more and more kids are accessing the free lunch program through their public schools. In fact 80% of schools show sharp increases in their free lunch programs says an article from Newsnet5.com.
WASHINGTON -- There is such a thing as a free lunch. And school districts across the country report that kids are eating many more of them as the flailing economy hits families hard.
The National School Lunch Program fed more than 30 million children in the 2006-07 school year with federal and state funds.
According to the School Nutrition Association, which represents workers who provide the meals, almost 80 percent of schools surveyed by the organization are reporting an increase in the number of free lunches served this year.
Crystal FitzSimons of the Food Research and Action Center in Washington said more families are signing up for free school lunches for their children as they look for ways to trim their food budgets.
"One of the easiest things families can look to for support is the school nutrition program," she said.
Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free meals. Children from families with slightly higher incomes are eligible for reduced price meals, which were also being served at higher levels. The organization said an average of 425,000 more students are participating in the programs overall.
As those numbers rise, schools could feel their budgets stretched as well."
Yow! This isn't good news. Thank goodness the families have some relief but we have got to get this economy back on track!