Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch
What does this measure?
The number of students eligible for free or reduced price school lunches as a percentage of all students in full day prekindergarten through 12th grade. Students are eligible for free lunch if their family's income is at or below 130% of the national poverty level.
Why is this important?
This measure not only shows the proportion of low-income students and families in an area, but also is an indication of the potential challenges facing schools as they work to educate children who have fewer resources.
How is Orange County performing?
In 2014, 40% of students in Orange County were eligible for free or reduced price lunch, in line with the statewide figure of 38% and below the 2014 national figure of 50%. Orange's rate was the highest among counties in the Mid-Hudson Valley in 2014, compared to Ulster at 39% and Dutchess at 30%. Orange's rate increased every year from 2007 through 2014, and rose 12 points total over that period. Among local municipalities, rates of eligible students were highest in Newburgh (67%), Middletown (75%), and Kiryas Joel (80%).
Notes about the data
Not all students who are eligible for free or reduced priced lunch participate in the program.