Published Income Guidelines for Families Applying for Free or Reduced-Price Lunches

BOISE – Families interested in applying for free or reduced price meals can now view the income guidelines and apply for the 2022-2023 school year.

The upcoming school year will be the first time since 2020 that families must apply for free or reduced-price meals at schools operating the National School Lunch Program and free milk at schools operating the Special Milk Program. Eligible families are encouraged to apply to ensure their children’s access to healthy meals this school year.

Eligibility for the program is determined by household size and income. Qualifying students receive free meals or milk or may pay a reduced price of no more than 40 cents for lunch and 30 cents for breakfast: pdf pdf

Categorically eligible students, such as those whose families participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho (TAFI), and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) are eligible for free meals or at a reduced price. In addition, participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) may also be eligible.

In August, households receiving SNAP and TAFI benefits should look for a letter from their school informing them of their eligibility and automatic enrollment in the program; no other application or verification is required for these households. Households with children in Head Start, homeless or runaway education, migrant education, or court-ordered foster care programs will also be notified of their eligibility. Children in eligible households can receive free benefits regardless of their immigration status.

All households that do not receive notification of eligibility can complete a confidential application to receive free or reduced-price meals and/or free milk. Parents should contact the district their child attends to complete an application. To find your district, go to Contact information for each district will be listed on their website. Families only need to submit one application per household, even if their children attend more than one school in the district. Once deemed eligible, homes will remain eligible for the entire school year. An application must be resubmitted at the beginning of each year.

Parents and guardians who become unemployed may also be eligible for free or reduced-price lunch during their period of unemployment, as long as the loss of income causes the household income to meet the qualifying thresholds. Applications can be submitted at any time during the school year, but parents are encouraged to apply before the start of the school year to ensure their student’s access to free, nutritious meals.

The district will notify families if their school is operating a Special Provision Option, such as Provision 2 or CEP, which provides free breakfasts and/or lunches to all students.

Families notified of their child’s eligibility should contact the school if they decide to decline free meal benefits. Families who have not received notification of eligibility may apply for benefits by completing a confidential application for free or reduced-price meals or free milk. A school official will review the confidential application and determine eligibility.

An application cannot be approved unless it contains the following information:

• A Food Stamp, SNAP or TAFI (not Medicaid) case number for each child or an indication that the household is receiving FDPIR and the signature of an adult household member.
• The names of all household members, the amount and source of income received by each household member in the previous month, the signature of an adult household member, the actual number of household members, and the last four digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member signing the application (or an indication that the signer does not have a social security number).

Information on the application may be verified at any time during the school year. Parents or guardians who are dissatisfied with the decision of the school official determining eligibility may discuss the decision with the official. Parents wishing to file a formal appeal may request in writing or orally to the school food service hearing officer (contact the school food service office for the name, address, and phone number of the hearing officer). officer) for a hearing on the decision.

In the operation of USDA’s infant feeding programs, no child shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, age, or disability.

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