The school lunch barometer–the number of children eligible for free/low cost meals has risen 17 percent due to hard times for their parents

by New York Times

The economic downturn is driving more and more families into the ranks of the poor and the “near poor” who barely make it from paycheck to paycheck. This pattern is chillingly clear from the rising numbers of formerly middle-class children now qualifying for free or low-cost meals under the federally financed school lunch program.