New numbers show more Arizona students are eating free or reduced lunches, but schools are still missing half of the students eligible.
The Marana Unified School District agrees this is a problem, but they're trying to break down barriers.
Barriers like the negative stigma behind low cost lunches and overwhelming paperwork.
Marana schools serve free or reduced lunches to 53 percent of students, a 30 percent increase since 2008-2009. They say the recession had these numbers climbing.
To reach eligible students the district says they're doing a tremendous amount of outreach.
Right now schools are mailing, emailing and offering applications online for free and reduced lunches. The district also captures many families through direct certification. This takes the pressure off families and automatically qualifies students into the program. This school year 2,000 were automatically approved. And what about the most important meal of the day?
Marana schools are trying to boost participation with the program ‘Breakfast in the classroom'. Right now 8 out of 17 Marana schools participate in the program.
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