The economy is taking food right out of kids’ mouths and families are turning to the government to fill children’s stomachs.
Local and state officials in Connecticut said they are not surprised by the rapid rise in people seeking the free- and reduced- lunch programs as the state's unemployment rate has risen from 4.8 to 7.1 percent over the past year.
The federal income limit to qualify for a reduced price lunch is $39,220 per year for a family of four. If a family of the same size earns $27,560 or less, lunch is free.
Since October, Milford schools has seen a 14 percent increase and Madison, one of the area's most affluent towns, has had a 28 percent hike in the number of students participating in the lunch program.
School officials said they fear these numbers will continue to climb in the coming months.