School Lunch - Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch

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Why This Indicator Matters

Being hungry has an enormous impact on a student’s ability to learn and can be considered as vital for success as textbooks or curriculum. Students who go to school hungry and/or cannot afford to purchase a lunch may suffer an inability to concentrate and often fall behind academically. They are more likely to miss school because of illness, suffer from depression and anxiety, and develop behavioral problems throughout their academic career. As a result, free and reduced-price school lunches are an important resource for children who reside in low-income families.  The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is the nation's second largest food and nutrition assistance program. In FY2017, the program operated in over 100,000 public and nonprofit private schools to provide low-cost or free lunches for nearly 30 million children, including nearly 1 million in the commonwealth.
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