School meal program guidelines announced
The Minnesota Department of Education has announced the household income guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for free and reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program. The income guidelines are effective from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.
Contact your school, childcare center, family childcare home or adult care center to find out whether it participates in these programs.
Participating schools and childcare centers that charge separately for meals will provide a form upon request to apply for free or reduced-price meals. Some schools have a universal free meal program that provides free school meals to all students without applications from households. Most participating centers and all participating family childcare homes provide meals to all enrolled participants without any separate charge.
At schools and centers that charge separately for meals, households with incomes that are less than or equal to the guidelines for free meals qualify for free meals. Households with incomes that are greater than the guidelines for free meals, but less than or equal to the guidelines for reduced-price meals, qualify for reduced-price meals.
Family Income Income
Size Up to Up to
1 1,287 1,832
2 1,736 2,470
3 2,184 3,108
4 2,633 3,747
5 3,081 4,385
6 3,530 5,023
7 3,980 5,663
8 4,430 6,304
Add for each additional person
An application for free or reduced-price meals can be approved if it contains complete documentation of household income, or documentation of current participation in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). Foster children qualify for free meals based on their foster status. Most children enrolled in Head Start and Even Start automatically qualify for free meals.
An application to an adult care center can be approved if it contains complete documentation of household income or documentation of current participation in Medical Assistance, SNAP, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or FDPIR.
Participating schools and centers accept applications for free or reduced-price meals at any time during the year. A household may qualify for free or reduced-price meals due to a temporary loss of income, such as a period of unemployment. An appeal procedure is available for households whose applications are denied. Information supplied on an application for free or reduced-price meals may be verified at any time.
In the operation of USDA Child Nutrition programs, no participant will be discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.