Number of Florida Kids Who Qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch at an all time High
GAINESVILLE - Data from the Florida Department of Education shows that more kids than ever before are qualifying for free and reduced lunch, many of them right here in North Central Florida.
Dixie County has the second highest number of kids who qualify in the entire state, with 99.3 % eligible.
One program for kids during the school year is the food for kids backpack program.
Kids are sent home with a backpack of food each week.
The Bread of the Mighty Food Bank in Gainesville helps supply those backpacks and the director says it helps...but there is still much to be done - "kids will run home and empty [the backpack] out because they know they won't get more food for a week. Then they are allowed to go and fill it back up."
The state of Florida as a whole also ranks higher than the nation as a whole, with 56% of children eligible.
The national average is 47%.
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