By Kate Sheehy
The number of students receiving free and reduced price school meals in Maryland this year jumped by 30,000 students.
The recession is one factor, but also an effort by the city of Baltimore to encourage parents to sign their children up for the federal program.
Across Maryland 326,000 schoolchildren qualify for the program. Baltimore, at 84 percent, has the largest number of students who qualify.
City schools added more than 9,000 new students and will see more financial benefits from the state, which gives systems additional money for every poor student. Schools can also help families sign up for food stamps.