The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the income guidelines for free and reduced price school meals for July 1 through June 30, 2014.
According to the guidelines, a household with one person is eligible for free meals if he makes $14,937 per year, $1,245 per month and $288 per week. A household of two would be eligible for free meals if it makes $20,163 per year; $1,681 per month or $388 per week. For each additional family member, add $5,226 per year, $436 per month and $101 per week.
Families are eligible for reduced price meals with the following income: $21,257 per year, $1,772 per month and $409 per week for a household of one; $28,694 per year, $2,392 per month and $552 per week for a household of two. For each additional family member, add $7,437 per year; $620 per month and $144 per week.
Students from households whose income is at or below the levels listed are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Students receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Special Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, or commodity assistance through the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations are eligible for free meal benefits.
A letter and an application are sent by the schools to the households of all enrolled students. Copies are also available at each school office. School officials use the information on the application only to decide if the students should receive free or reduced price meals. The information may be released to other federal education programs and state health and education programs. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.
Households with any member receiving SNAP, TANF or FDPIR are only required to provide the recipient's name, SNAP, TANF or FDPIR case number, the student's name and an adult signature.
Foster children's names on a household application with other non-foster children may be included. Foster children are eligible for school meal benefits. Foster children must be the legal responsibility of the welfare agency or the court.
Students who are homeless, runaway or migrant are also eligible for benefits. Household members do not have to be US citizens for students to qualify for benefits.
The school official will review applications and determine eligibility. An application that is not complete cannot be approved. A new application must be completed each year.
Child care centers that participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and fall under the guidelines established by USDA are eligible to receive funding. As with the school program, the goal is to improve the diets of children through cash reimbursement for meals and snacks which meet program standards.
Reimbursement to child care centers is determined by the eligibility status of enrolled children.
The current income eligibility guidelines established by the USDA for July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014, are the same as for the free/reduced cost school breakfast and lunch programs.
A letter and income eligibility application will be distributed to the households of all enrolled children. The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining program eligibility. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year. Parents may check with their child care provider to find out if it participates in the CACFP.