I just got a chart from San Diego Unified showing how much (or how little) families need to earn for their kids to qualify for free lunches this year. This is an important metric for poverty in schools: Almost every time I refer to “disadvantaged kids” in an article, I’m talking about kids who can get free lunches.

So here’s what the numbers really mean: A single parent with one child has to earn less than $26,955 for their kids to qualify. A family of three has to earn less than $33,874. That could be two parents and a child, one parent with two children, or a parent, a grandmother and a child. And a family of four has to earn less than $40,793 annually.

You can check out the full chart here. You’ll notice that the chart also refers to reduced price lunches. San Diego Unified doesn’t actually charge for reduced price meals, so I lump them in together as free meals.


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