Free and reduced price lunch enrollment rates by school district in Massachusetts

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Why This Indicator Matters

Are free and reduced-price school meals getting to all the kids who need them? See Breakfast and Lunch Participation in Massachusetts Schools—part of a joint project involving MassBudget, the Center for Social Policy at UMass Boston, and the Mass. Law Reform Institute, supported by the Eos Foundation.

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Students enrolled in the free or reduced price lunch program for a given school district as a share of total student enrollment.

Students living in households up to 130% of the federal poverty level (FPL) are eligible for free meals. Students living in households between 130% and 185% of FPL are eligible for reduced price meals. Students are categorically eligible for free meals if they are homeless or if anyone in the household is on TAFDC or SNAP, meaning that many children between 130-200% of FPL still have access to free school meals. Further, children in foster care are categorically eligible for free meals even when living in households above 200% of FPL. Moreover, the “Community Eligibility Provision” allows high need schools or districts with 40% or more students who are categorically eligible to serve free meals to all students.

NA – Data not available.

Data Source: Data from the Mass. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, analysis of meal count data (National School Lunch Program)

Footnotes: These data on the number of students receiving free and reduced lunch and the MA Kids Count indicator on low-income students are essentially the same measure.  The numbers differ slightly based on the time of collection and source of the data.