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Guidelines for Policy Statement When Serving Meals or Milk Without Separate Charge

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All school food authorities participating in the National School Lunch, Commodity School, School Breakfast, and Special Milk Programs must submit a free and reduced price policy statement pursuant to 7 CFR Part 245. In the case of those school food authorities with schools which do not price meals or milk separately and serve meals or milk to all attending children (e.g., boarding schools and residential child care institutions (RCCIs)), a simplified policy statement may suffice. This Instruction provides the outline for the free and reduced price policy statement that such school food authorities may use for these nonpricing schools and institutions.

I. Nonpricing Schools Claiming Only General Cash Assistance

School food authorities administering nonpricing schools which limit their claims for reimbursement to the paid meal rate, or which participate it. the Special Milk Program only, may submit a simplified policy statement for those schools. Such a statement must declare that the entire enrollment is being served the same meal or milk benefits without a separate charge and without discrimination against any child in the course of the meal/milk service. The statement must also include a description of how a daily count is obtained of the number of meals/milk served. This type of school food authority need not make a public announcement of the eligibility standards, as specified in 245.5 (a), and is exempt from the verification requirement of Section 245.6a.

II. Nonpricing Schools Claiming Special Assistance

School food authorities administering nonpricing schools which claim full reimbursement for free or reduced price meals may also submit a simplified policy statement and are exempt from the public announcement of the eligi-bility standards. However, the policy statement shall also include the following attachments:

A. A copy of the free and reduced price application or enrollment application used to determine eligibility for free and reduced price meals; and

B. A description of how a dally count is obtained of the number of meals served by type (free, reduced price and paid).

Schools which require an enrollment application may use that application to determine eligibility for free or reduced price benefits, provided that the enrollment application meets the regulatory requirements of Section 245.6 and requests all the eligibility information specified in Section 245.2 (a-4). If the enrollment application does not meet the regulatory
requirements, a free and reduced price application must be used to determine eligibility for benefits. Verification of eligibility in these nonpricing schools must be completed in accordance with Section 245.6a.


RCCIs which have day students in attendance must follow the appropriate procedures outlined for nonpricing schools. RCCIs with only residential students would also follow these procedures, except that a description of the alternative method(s) of determining free and reduced price eligibility, as discussed below, may be submitted in addition to or in
lieu of a free or reduced price or enrollment application for RCCIs claiming special assistance for meals. RCCI's without day students are exempt from the verification of free and reduced price eligibility requirements specified in Section 245.6a.

In those cases where a child is considered a household of one, RCCIs are exempt from the requirement that eligibility for free and reduced, price meals or free milk be documented with applications signed by an adult household member. The following are acceptable alternatives:

A. A free and reduced application signed by an official frown the RCCI, which includes the child's name, age and any and all funds personally received by the child, even if "0" income;

B. A master list, updated as necessary, which includes the hare and age of each free or reduced price student and the child's personal income; or

C. An application or or-her document of enrollment to the institution and/or a file on the child indicating the funds personally received by the child.

Page updated: March 31, 2021

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.