40% of Wisconsin students qualify for lunch aid - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

40% of Wisconsin students qualify for lunch aid


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The number of Wisconsin students who qualify for free or reduced-cost school lunches this year has jumped to nearly 40 percent.

The head of the state's Department of Public Instruction says last year's rate was about 36 percent. DPI Superintendent Tony Evers says the increase is among the highest he's ever seen.

Ruth Ann Kiley is the president of the School Nutrition Association of Wisconsin. She tells Wisconsin Public Radio the problem is jobs. She says many parents are out of work, and others earn so little that their children qualify for the reduced 40-cent lunch.

Evers says he hopes the numbers improve along with the economy. But he says he doesn't foresee any dramatic reductions over the next few years.


Information from: Wisconsin Public Radio, http://www.wpr.org

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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