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Eligibility guidelines for free, reduced-price school meals announced

The income guidelines are effective from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.

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Parents and guardians can apply for free or reduced-price school meals for their children.
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MINNEAPOLIS — Household income guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for free and reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program have been announced, according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Education.

The income guidelines are effective from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.

Parents or guardians should contact their child's school, child care center, family child care home or adult care center to find out whether it participates in the programs, the news release said. Participating schools and child care centers that charge separately for meals will provide a form upon request for families to apply for free or reduced-price meals. Most participating centers and all participating family child care 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, the news release said. 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.

2022-23 income eligibility guidelines for National School Lunch, Breakfast and Child and Adult Care Food programs
The 2022-23 income eligibility guidelines for National School Lunch, Breakfast and Child and Adult Care Food programs. For families with more than eight people, add $512 to the qualifying monthly income on the free meals calculation for each additional family member, and $728 in qualifying monthly income to the reduced-price calculation for each additional family member.
Contributed / Minnesota Department of Education

An application for free or reduced-price meals can be approved if it contains documentation of qualifying household income, or documentation of current participation in the Minnesota Family Investment Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations or that indicates the student is placed in foster care. Other categories in which children qualify for free or reduced-price meals that do not involve an application are:

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  • Migrant
  • Homeless
  • Runaway
  • A foster child
  • Enrolled in Head Start or an eligible pre-kindergarten program; or
  • Medicaid recipient* if meeting income guidelines.

*Medicaid case number is not a valid qualifier for free or reduced-price meals on an application for education benefits. Free or reduced-price meal benefit via a Medicaid case number must be assigned by direct certification only. Qualifying by Medicaid via direct certification is a pilot project for the 2022-2023 school year and is not guaranteed for future years.

Participating schools and centers accept applications for free or reduced-price meals at any time during the year, according to the news release. A household may qualify for free or reduced-price meals due to a temporary loss of income during the year, 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.

Related Topics: EDUCATIONCARLTON COUNTY
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