Change Indicator

Students approved for free or reduced-price school lunch in Virginia

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Why This Indicator Matters

Important change:

In 2014, some Virginia school districts began participating in the Community Eligibility Option (CEP), a federal program that allows school districts to provides free or reduced-price meals to all students at high poverty or ‘high need’ schools without determining the exact number of eligible students. As a result, it is possible that an undetermined number of students who would not otherwise qualify for FARMs eligibility are now counted in this group and FARMs eligibility data after 2014 may no longer be an accurate indicator of student poverty or comparable to data from 2013 and before. Comparing across years for any CEP school is not advised.

The free eligible for the school districts participating in CEP is a VDOE calculated number based on USDA guidance.

Please use caution and reach out to KIDS COUNT director, Beth Nolan, if  you would like to use this data.
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Definition and Source



The number or percent of Virginia public school students in grades K-12 who were approved for free or reduced-price school lunches according to federal guidelines.

Data Source


NA - Bedford City data are included in the Bedford County totals.  Emporia City data are included in the Greensville County totals.  Fairfax City data are included in the Fairfax County totals.  James City County data are included in the Williamsburg totals.

Last updated: March 2018

Last Updated

November 2017