More NE Pennsylvania students getting free lunches

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SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) – A newspaper says nearly half of the students in northeastern Pennsylvania schools are now getting free or reduced-price lunches.

The Times-Tribune of Scranton reported Sunday ( ) that the number has grown by 19 percent over the past five years.

In Carbondale, where 69 percent of students qualify, the superintendent says “it’s hard times in northeastern Pennsylvania.”

The Philadelphia-based Coalition Against Hunger says the growth rate – up 15 percent across the state since 2009 – represents fallout from the recession

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