Students Receiving Free or Reduced Priced Lunch in Michigan

Change Indicator

Why This Indicator Matters

K-12 students from families with low incomes below 130% of the federal poverty level are eligible for a fully subsidized lunch. Those from families with incomes between 130% and 185% of poverty are eligible for reduced-price lunch. This is commonly used as a proxy for poverty.
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Definitions: Students from families with incomes below 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free or reduced prices in the federal School Lunch Program. Students from families reporting income between 130 and 185 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible for reduced priced meals, while children from families with incomes below 130 percent of poverty are eligible for a fully subsidized or “free” meal.

The counts represent K12 and ungraded special education students who were eligible through the end of October. The state total is less than the sum of county totals because there is duplication on the district files from which county totals are calculated. The percent is based on total enrollment. Percents are suppressed with an * for counts fewer than six to maintain reliability.

Districts that cross county boundaries are included in the county indicated by the CEPI district code.

Data Source: Michigan Department of Education, Food and Nutrition Services, Office of Nutrition, for 1990-95. Center for Educational Performance Information (CEPI) web site since 1996 (

Footnotes: In 2006 the methodology changed from school summary reports to a compilation based on the Single Record Student Database (SRSD). Results are not comparable with prior years.

State totals for SY06-07 through SY08-09 were revised in January 2011 to remove duplicates. Detroit totals for those years were revised to include additional charter schools.