Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch

Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch

What does this measure?

The number of students eligible for free or reduced price lunch as a percentage of total K-12 enrollment. Students are eligible for free lunch if their family's income is at or below 130% of the federal poverty threshold and for reduced price lunch if income is 130-185% of that threshold.

Why is this important?

This measure not only shows the proportion of low-income students and families in an area, it is also an indication of the potential challenges facing schools as they work to educate children who have fewer resources at home.

How is our county performing?

In 2020, 53% of students in Berks County were eligible for a free or reduced price lunch, similar to the statewide rate of 54, and below Lehigh. All areas have experienced an increase since 2006. Berks' rate increased by 21 percentage points, similar to the increases in Lancaster, Lebanon and Lehigh. Chester had the smallest increase, at 14 percentage points.

Notes about the data


There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch
Berks County32%32%34%37%39%40%41%43%44%48%47%52%51%52%53%
Berks County Regions
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County14%15%15%16%17%17%18%20%20%23%24%25%26%26%28%
Lancaster County27%28%29%32%34%36%37%40%41%44%47%46%47%48%48%
Lebanon County27%27%28%30%34%35%37%39%41%41%48%47%51%50%51%
Lehigh County35%36%37%39%41%43%44%48%49%52%57%56%57%59%61%
Montgomery County15%15%16%17%19%20%21%23%25%28%29%31%32%32%33%
Schuylkill County32%33%34%36%40%41%41%44%46%48%50%46%56%53%53%
School Districts
Antietam School District52%50%51%53%51%
Boyertown Area School District26%26%26%27%27%
Brandywine Heights Area School District28%29%32%33%33%
Conrad Weiser Area School District31%37%34%35%35%
Daniel Boone Area School District27%29%26%29%30%
Exeter Township School District15%31%27%29%30%
Fleetwood Area School District26%29%29%30%30%
Governor Mifflin School District38%42%42%43%43%
Hamburg Area School District42%44%40%46%46%
Kutztown Area School District25%27%29%31%30%
Muhlenberg School District51%55%55%55%73%
Oley Valley School District25%29%31%31%31%
Reading School District100%100%100%100%100%
Schuylkill Valley School District29%34%31%30%30%
Tulpehocken Area School District39%39%38%39%40%
Twin Valley School District28%27%29%29%30%
Wilson School District28%27%29%29%
Wyomissing Area School District33%37%31%33%34%

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Number of Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch
Berks County22,31022,39724,48825,99627,53328,43629,20930,47631,30633,41834,34135,10335,75536,27336,871
Berks County Regions
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County10,30710,69611,00812,29513,01513,54714,36215,93916,18017,83617,72017,81818,56118,67420,420
Lancaster County19,35920,70321,18522,61224,28625,62126,21927,75728,82929,89730,62132,39832,78733,45233,093
Lebanon County5,2565,1885,4115,7376,5966,8387,1327,6628,1298,4509,5539,5989,26410,50810,435
Lehigh County18,14919,82921,00921,53021,96123,55623,52225,04526,26928,25331,96431,64134,06835,07439,144
Montgomery County14,83015,30916,21617,30219,08220,94622,68024,50027,36330,07631,31534,46135,13236,08537,058
Schuylkill County6,7456,9067,1067,4558,0708,1898,2048,7209,1029,3669,9719,99111,50410,15610,078
School Districts
Antietam School District545555590605571
Boyertown Area School District1,7341,7211,7051,7571,788
Brandywine Heights Area School District421426455459474
Conrad Weiser Area School District815997913910925
Daniel Boone Area School District8991,0269081,0181,059
Exeter Township School District1,1001,2481,0771,1341,168
Fleetwood Area School District660713733726718
Governor Mifflin School District1,5551,7731,7661,8681,876
Hamburg Area School District910957864984987
Kutztown Area School District341351372421413
Muhlenberg School District1,8772,0652,2242,3362,946
Oley Valley School District414495508495499
Reading School District17,07217,27217,63217,61517,488
Schuylkill Valley School District596702646619638
Tulpehocken Area School District547562548557567
Twin Valley School District937924959975968
Wilson School District1,7371,1101,7631,787
Wyomissing Area School District634716593634643

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in K-6 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in 7-12 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Physically Inactive Adults Not Applicable
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Maintaining
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households by type Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Seniors Living Alone Maintaining
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Change in Labor Force Decreasing
Employment to Population ratio Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Maintaining
Spending for Local Governments Maintaining
Spending for Counties Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Maintaining
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Enrollment in Local Colleges Decreasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
People Receiving Supplemental Security Income Increasing
Health Status Not Applicable
People Enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Vacant Housing Units Increasing
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Cost of Homeownership Maintaining
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Increasing
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Toxic Chemical Releases Decreasing
Violent Crimes Maintaining
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Maintaining
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing