Index: Education / Subcategory: K-12

Students Eligible for Free/Reduced School Lunch

Date updated: 01/28/2013

The National School Lunch Program is a federally-assisted meal program that provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. National income guidelines determine the eligibility of students based on their families' household size and income. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) are eligible for free meals. Those with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the FPG are eligible for reduced-price meals. The FPG changes annually to account for shifts in the Consumer Price Index.

For the 2012-13 school year, a family of four with an annual household income between $29,966 and $42,643 qualified for reduced-cost lunches. A family of four with annual income of $29,965 or less qualified for free lunches.

What this chart shows: K-12 Students Eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch: Colorado & Larimer County School Districts, 2003-04 to 2012-13

Data Source: Colorado Department of Education

See data table

What the above data tell us:

Total school enrollment increased 12.9% in Colorado between Fall 2003 and Fall 2012. During this same time, students eligible for free or reduced school lunches increased 36.5% in Colorado. In 2003-04, 30.7% of students qualified for the free or reduced lunch program, compared to 41.9% in 2012-13.

All three Larimer County school districts saw large increases in students eligible for free and reduced lunches during the last decade, ranging from a 52.1% increase in the Park School District in Estes Park to a 44.1% increase in Thompson School District.

While overall enrollment numbers in Larimer County increased by 8.5% or 3,411 students from 2003-04 to 2012-13, eligibility for the free or reduced lunch program grew by 59.2% or 5,256 students. In 2012-13, over 14,100 students in Larimer County's public school system received free or reduced lunches.

The majority of schools in Larimer County also participate in the School Breakfast Program.

Additional Information:

Related Information on COMPASS -

Other Resources -

Industry Standards or Targets:

N/A

Data Table:

K-12 Students Eligible for Free/Reduced School Lunch Program

Year

Colorado

Park

Poudre

Thompson

Enrollment

% Eligible

Enrollment

% Eligible

Enrollment

% Eligible

Enrollment

% Eligible

2003-04

737,675 30.7% 1,326 23.0% 24,281 19.6% 14,694 25.9%

2004-05

745,262 32.1% 1,240 23.9% 24,428 20.6% 14,683 27.2%

2005-06

757,116 33.6% 1,242 23.2% 24,629 20.6% 14,774 26.5%

2006-07

769,472 34.3% 1,250 24.2% 24,817 25.0% 14,976 27.4%

2007-08

776,767 34.8% 1,186 25.0% 25,050 22.0% 15,013 27.6%

2008-09

790,163 35.8% 1,156 28.7% 25,310 24.3% 14,987 28.4%

2009-10

832,368 38.4% 1,210 31.4% 26,520 26.7% 15,225 26.2%

2010-11

812,723 40.3% 1,126 33.2% 26,174 27.6% 14,847 32.2%

2011-12

823,174 41.3% 1,144 34.2% 26,760 30.7% 15,143 35.9%

2012-13

833,186 41.9% 1,112 35.0% 27,121 29.4% 15,479 37.3%

See chart