Resource | Notice
Child Nutrition Programs: Income Eligibility Guidelines (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020)

This notice announces the Department's annual adjustments to the Income Eligibility Guidelines to be used in determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals and free milk for the period from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. These guidelines are used by schools, institutions, and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program (and Commodity School Program), School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program.

Resource | Regulations
PART 245—Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools

This part established the responsibilities of State agencies, Food and Nutrition Service Regional Offices, school food authorities or local educational agencies, as defined in §245.2, as applicable in providing free and reduced price meals and free milk in the National School Lunch Program (7 CFR part 210), the School Breakfast Program (7 CFR part 220), the Special Milk Program (SMP) for Children (7 CFR part 215), and commodity schools. Section 9 of the National School Lunch Act, as amended, and sections 3 and 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended, require schools participating in any of the programs and commodity schools to make available, as applicable, free and reduced price lunches, breakfasts, and at the option of the School Food Authority for schools participating only in the Special Milk Program (SMP) free milk to eligible children.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP36 CACFP15 SFSP11-2017
Eligibility Manual for School Meals

The manual provides comprehensive information on federal requirements, policies, and procedures, and is intended to help state agencies and local educational agencies accurately determine, certify, and verify children’s eligibility for free and reduced price school meals and free milk.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP20- 2017
Eligibility

This memorandum details guidance on the annual Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) notification and publication requirements and provides information on the USDA-developed reporting template.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP08 CACFP04 SFSP03-2017
Area Eligibility in Child Nutrition Programs
Resource | Policy Memos | SP51-2016
Ensuring Year-long Eligibility in the School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs

The purpose of this memorandum is to strongly encourage local educational agencies (LEAs) to accept eligibility determinations from a transferring student’s former LEA to minimize disruptions in meal benefits for low-income students and avoid student debt resulting from unpaid meal charges. While most students will change schools at least once between kindergarten and 12th grade, data from the Department of Education show that low-income students change schools more often than their peers. School changes can be disruptive to learning, but ensuring that students do not have a break in their access to free and reduced price meals can help ensure students and families make a successful transition.

Resource | Notice
Comment Request - Third Access Participation Eligibility and Certification Study Series (APEC III)

The purpose of this third study on Access, Participation, Eligibility, and Certification (APEC III) is to provide the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) with key information on the annual error rates and erroneous payments for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) in school year (SY) 2017-2018.

Resource | Rule
Final Rule: National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program: Eliminating Applications Through Community Eligibility as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

This final rule establishes requirements for State agencies, local educational agencies, and schools operating the Community Eligibility Provision, a reimbursement option that allows the service of school meals to all children at no-cost in high poverty schools without collecting household applications.

Resource | Notice
Comment Request - Community Eligibility Provision Characteristics Study (CEP)

The CEP Characteristics Study will include surveys of nationally representative samples of participating and eligible non-participating LEAs to obtain updated information on the characteristics of participating and non-participating districts and schools. It will also examine CEP impacts on student participation and per meal revenue.

Resource | Notice
Comment Request - Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools

FNS will collect information to determine eligibility of children for free and reduced price meals and for free milk and to assure that there is no physical segregation of, or other discrimination against, or overt identification of children unable to pay the full price for meals or milk.