TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) _ The number of Indiana school children receiving free or reduced-price lunches has risen 27 percent in the last decade, and officials say they're worried that not every eligible student is signed up.
Nearly half of all school-age children statewide are in the program now. Officials say that mirrors a sharp increase in the number of children living in poverty since 2000.
The economy has affected the number of students in the food program. But Vigo County School Corp. officials tell WTHI-TV that changes in guidelines for the program also have led to jumps in enrollment. More than 8,200 students in the school system currently receive free or low-cost meals.
Groups are urging people to step up to help ease childhood hunger by donating groceries to food pantries.