Press Release: Number of Students Eligible For Free And Reduced-Price Meals Increases

For Immediate Release                                   

Contact: William Reinhard, 410-767-0486               Carol Fettweis, 410-767-0207

Baltimore, MD (February 28, 2014)

The Maryland State Department of Education has announced the release of free and reduced-price meals enrollment data for School Year 2014. The data is based on the number of students approved for free and reduced-price lunches or snacks as of October 31, 2013, as required under Federal law.

In School Year 2014, 44.26 percent or 389,284 Maryland students are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals based on household income. This represents a 1.3 percent increase in the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals compared to last school year. Nine out of 24 public school systems in Maryland have 50 percent or more students eligible for free and reduced-price meals.

According to Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, school meals are free to children who live in households with annual incomes at or below 130 percent of the Federal poverty rate, or $30,615 for a family of four. Students approved for reduced-price meals have annual household income under 185 percent of the federal poverty rate. For a family of four, household income is between $30,615 and $43,568.

Current and historical free and reduced-price meal data for Maryland is available at


The Maryland State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are equal opportunity employers and providers.