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Resource | Fact Sheets

Apply for Free and Reduced Price School Meals Today

For the 2022-23 school year, many families will need to fill out an application to find out if they can get free or reduced price meals.

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Income Eligibility Guidelines

The Department's annual adjustments to the Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs), are used in determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals or free milk.

Resource | Comment Request

Comment Request - Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk

This collection is a revision of a currently approved collection for determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals and free milk as stated in FNS regulations. These federal requirements affect eligibility under the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and the Special Milk Program and are also applicable to the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program when individual eligibility must be established

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Applying for Free and Reduced Price School Meals

USDA offers prototypes of school meal applications, as well as sample instructional documents intended to assist state and local officials in the design and distribution of their own application materials.

Resource | Fact Sheets

Equity in School Lunch Pricing Fact Sheet

This memorandum provides information relating to section 205 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This provision requires school food authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program to ensure that schools are providing the same level of support for lunches served to students who are not eligible for free or reduced price lunches (i.e., paid lunches) as they are for lunches served to students eligible for free lunches.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Feasibility of Wider Implementation of Direct Verification With Medicaid

To ensure program integrity, school districts must sample household applications certified for free or reduced-price meals, contact the households, and verify eligibility. This process (known as household verification) can be burdensome for both school officials and households. Direct verification uses information from certain other means-tested programs to verify eligibility without contacting applicants. Potential benefits include: less burden for households, less work for school officials, and fewer students with school meal benefits terminated because of nonresponse to verification requests.

Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2005-0012

Verification Activities – Reauthorization 2004 Implementation Memo SP-13

This memorandum provides information about implementing requirements concerning confirmation activities, individual review of selected applications and follow-up in relation to verification of households’ eligibility for free or reduced price meals.

Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2004-0018

Exclusion of the Housing Allowance for Military Households in Privatized Housing - Reauthorization 2004: Implementation Memo CN 1

In accordance with the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, the housing allowance for military personnel living in privatized housing will be permanently excluded from income when determining household eligibility for free and reduced price meals or free milk in all of the child nutrition programs.

Reauthorization 2004: Implementation Memo CN 1