Eligibility for Free School Meals

Students may be eligible to receive FREE school meals if they fall into one of the following categories:

Families That Receive SNAP/TAFDC Benefits

Any student living in a household that receives one or more of the following benefits is automatically eligible for free school meals:SNAP information tearoff pad, English

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps)
  • Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).

Parents should notify their child’s school that they receive these benefits to ensure that s/he receives free school meals. If one child in the household is eligible for free meals because s/he falls into one of these categories, then ALL siblings are also eligible.

Homeless, Runaway, or Migrant Students

These children are automatically eligible for free school meals. School nutrition directors should work with the district’s homeless education liaison to maintain an updated list of these students and ensure they are signed up to receive free meals.

Foster Children

Foster children are automatically eligible for free school meals.

Changes to Direct Certification for Foster Children

Social workers may provide documentation of foster care status when enrolling a child in school, or foster parents may indicate their child’s foster care status on the school meal application. 

New this year, foster children can be included on the family school meal application and do not require their own application.