Free school lunch enrollment declines in Ohio

The number of lower-income school children in Ohio receiving free or reduced-price lunches has decreased for the first time in six years.
Associated Press
Feb 6, 2013


Numbers from the Ohio Department of Education showed that nearly 820,000 youngsters get subsidized meals this school year. That's 44.4 percent — a slight decline from the 45.3 percent enrolled in the program last year.

The school-lunch program is funded by the federal government. It serves students considered to be economically disadvantaged based on their family income.

The Columbus Dispatch ( ) reports that the number of Ohio youngsters in the lunch program has increased by nearly 50 percent in the past decade as poverty has grown in the state.

Much of the increase has been seen in suburban districts, where middle-class families have lost jobs or seen their earnings decline.



The Big Dog's back

Thanks for your economic policies President Obama.


They get their free lunches at home through food stamps. Good job Obama making the US a country of dependents!


Wow...this year I could actually qualify for reduced lunches. My husband changed jobs and took a pay cut. I provide for my kids, I know there are worse off than mine. I wonder where or how they got these numbers, because when you talk to the schools or the lunch people they say there are more on free/reduced than ever!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

While this certainly sounds like good news, my scrutiny comes in what the larger picture of the numbers are. With record low births, is this kind of like "improved" unemployment figures because people drop out of the working pool yet still exist? In other words is this because there are actually just less defined economically disadvantaged kids as a whole number or percentage? After all I can accurately quote a study that concluded that the rate of teen pregnancy drops to a record-low of 0% after age 20.

Overall this is a good trend indicator (and the whole article warns this is almost a "too soon" to celebrate) but it seems, at least as reported here in this article and the expanded one from the Dispatch, to be lacking a lot of context or "what's the next step". Losing kids off of free lunch only to put them on free lunch as adults doesn't mean anything at all has actually changed and these people on tough times are simply seen as a successful statistic to a tunnel-visioned office holder. The whole thing upsets me.


"...the rate of teen pregnancy drops to a record-low of 0% after age 20."
Really? Wow...unbelievable.


Hero zone = like!


Are you sure this story is accurate? It was my understanding that there is no such thing as a free lunch.


Its free to them, but yea, someone has to pay for it! Me!


You've never bought me lunch. How about you spread the wealth?


I smell another Obozo's economy puff piece from the All Praise Obozo news service. Heralding a 1.3% reduction in free lunches does not actually reflect the 7-15% yearly increase in Ohio's charter schools according to the Rand Corp. Also from a state of ohio website 44,000 students drop out yearly. Population shift is not listed perhaps the parents of the 1.3% moved out of state in order to better themselves. Too many variables in the above article, smells like a puffer
I forgot parents that took their children out of public screwels to be home schooled.


110,000 million individuals received a welfare benefit in 2011. (These figures do not include other means-tested benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or the health insurance premium subsidies included in the President’s health care law.

"Spending on food stamps alone is projected to reach $800 billion over the next decade."