Lines Grow Long for Free School Meals, Thanks to Economy

The number of students receiving subsidized lunches rose to 21 million last school year from 18 million in 2006-7, a 17 percent increase, according to an analysis by The New York Times of data from the Department of Agriculture, which administers the meals program. Eleven states, including Florida, Nevada, New Jersey and Tennessee, had four-year increases of 25 percent or more, huge shifts in a vast program long characterized by incremental growth.

The Agriculture Department has not yet released data for September and October.

“These are very large increases and a direct reflection of the hardships American families are facing,” said Benjamin Senauer, a University of Minnesota economist who studies the meals program, adding that the surge had happened so quickly “that people like myself who do research are struggling to keep up with it.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Education, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

2 comments on “Lines Grow Long for Free School Meals, Thanks to Economy

  1. Skeptic says:

    And thanks to the social contract we Americans have with one another, many kids in need have access to free school meals.

  2. Scatcatpdx says:

    What social contact! or should I say one sided contract by the fore of the state a la forced redistribution.
    When I was hungry I was helped more from my church. It is better for meed to possible miss a few meals than take one more dollar over the low amount from unemployment. I was eligible for bur refuses to go on food stamps. I did not have to miss meals with rare gifts from my church, about $40 left form unemployment a week, and a lot of thrift like shopping daily for marked down meats and Chinese and Vietnamese dishes using tofu, or various themes of tuna casserole.

    What the story misses is how the state simply raised requirements minimum requirements and push making more people dependent on the state. Many families who are eligible also receive food stamps and WIC. The free lunch program, especially when the school is closed is redundant.