How to Apply for & Receive "Free & Reduced School Meals" for the 2017-18 School Year

children eating in cafeteria

 The new school year is fast approaching here in the Pacific Northwest! As you begin planning for your student's success this year, if you feel you are in need, or think you may be in need, of the national Free and Reduced School Meal Program for the 2017-18 school year, here is an excerpt (including links) from the USDA Food and Nutrition website explaining who may qualify and how to apply through your local school:

 *Excerpt reprinted as published on USDA Food and Nutrition website

Applying for Free and Reduced Price School Meals

Last Published: 05/08/2017

Schools send school meal applications home at the beginning of each school year. However, you may apply for school meals any time during the school year by submitting an application directly to your school or district. You may ask for an application any time during the school year. If you’re earning at or below current Income Eligibility Guidelines, you are encouraged to contact your school or district to fill out a school meal application. Applications are reviewed by local school or district officials before granting free or reduced price benefits. If you receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, all of your children who attend school automatically qualify for free school meals. Participation in other Federal assistance programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) also provides automatic eligibility. Please contact your school to determine if you need to fill out an application.

If you are eligible for unemployment compensation, you might also be eligible for free or reduced price school meals. With the cooperation of the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, we are reaching out to vulnerable households. State Workforce Agency Administrators have been asked to let households seeking unemployment benefits about the availability of free and reduced price school meals. Please contact your school or district for more information.

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For further information, you can also view the National School Lunch Program fact sheet.