Two-thirds of Marshalltown students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch

Ranked second among CIML public school districts

Over 67 percent of K-12 students at Marshalltown Schools qualify for federal free and reduced lunch prices, according to 2017 Iowa Department of Education numbers. The qualification comes from the United States Department of Agriculture National School Lunch Program.

According to the USDA website, children can qualify for free or reduced-price lunches through “participation in certain federal assistance programs” like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Being enrolled in a federally-funded Head Start Program or similar state-funded program may also mean a child meets qualifications.

Eligibility can also be based on a student’s status as homeless, a migrant, a runaway or a foster child. Household income and family size may also be taken into account, according to the USDA website.

Here is how school districts within the Central Iowa Metropolitan League conference stack up by percentage of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, according to 2017-18 Iowa Department of Education figures:

1.) Des Moines Public Schools — 75.6 percent

2.) Marshalltown Community School District — 67.2 percent

3.) Fort Dodge Community School District — 59.9 percent

4.) Mason City Community Schools — 48 percent

5.) Ottumwa Community School District — 42.7 percent

6.) West Des Moines Community Schools — 35.2 percent

7.) Southeast Polk Community School District — 31 percent

8.) Ames Community School District — 30.7 percent

9.) Urbandale Schools — 29.2 percent

10.) Johnston Community School District — 23.7 percent

11.) Indianola Community School District — 15.3 percent

12.) Ankeny Community School District — 15 percent

13.) Waukee Community School District — 14.9 percent

For more information on free and reduced lunch eligibility at the state’s public schools, visit


Contact Adam Sodders at

(641) 753-6611 or