A leading indicator of poverty in Hawaii saw another increase last year. Free and reduced lunches in Hawaii’s public schools saw a jump in enrollment by 20%, or roughly 13,000 children. Across the state, more than 80,000 public school students qualify for free or reduced lunch which make up nearly 50% of all the public school students.
The prices for meals at the public schools rose in 2010 and is scheduled to rise again this year. Current regular prices for breakfast is $1 and for lunch, $2.35. The current reduced rate is $0.30 and $0.40 respectively. The increase in enrollment has been blamed on the weak economy as parents lose their jobs or receive reduced pay.
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