A new study suggests that nearly one-third of students may lose their free or reduced-price meals because their parents refuse to document their income and prove eligibility.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food and nutrition service reviewed a national sample of nearly 279,000 applications for the subsidized-meals program from the 2008-09 school year. Besides students whose parents had not provided needed paperwork, the analysis found that 20 percent were getting free meals when they only qualified for reduced-price ones. In all, about half the applications were found to be accurate.
A version of this article appeared in the May 11, 2011 edition of Education Week as School Lunch Applications