CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The number of students receiving free and reduced-price meals at Wyoming public schools increased this year even though the state's economy has been steadily improving.

Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Education show that 37 percent of students in Wyoming receive breakfasts and lunches subsidized by the federal government.

The 33,052 students qualifying for free and reduced-price meals represent a 2 percent increase over the 2010-11 school year.

Nutrition program supervisor Tamra Jackson of the state Education Department says participation in the school meal program is going up across the nation because of the economy.

Jackson says while Wyoming's economy has been slowly improving there may be some lag in people's personal income increasing.

A student's eligibility for free or cheaper school meals is based on their family's income.