Free and Reduced Price School Meals

Expenses for having children in school can sure add up.  One great way to save money is to apply for Free and Reduced Price School Meals each year.  If your income makes you eligible for this program, your child will be able to eat schools meals for free or at a reduce price.

School lunches are offered through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), which provides nutritionally-balanced, healthy lunches for free at a low cost.

At the beginning of each school year, schools send home a form for each family to fill out for the Free and Reduced Price Meal Program.  It doesn't ask for much information.  You will be asked to give the names of all members of your household; the total household income; and the last four digits of the Social Security Number of the adult household member who signs the application.

No one will be able to tell if your child is getting a free meal.  Each school has a system in place that prevents anyone from knowing who is getting a free or reduced meal.


Did you know?
  • If you receive Food Nutrition Assistance (also known as SNAP or Food Stamps),  your child is automatically eligible to receive free meals.
  • If you are unemployed, your children might also be eligible.
  • You can apply for free and reduce meals at any time during the school year.  If your income drops, you might become eligible.  Call your school if your income changes and ask to fill out a new form.
  • If you need help filling out the form, you should just call the school and ask.  They will have people who can help you.
For more information:

Income Eligibility Guidelines:
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This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. The University of Maryland Extension will not discriminate against any person because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more about Maryland’s Food Supplement Program (SNAP), contact the Maryland Department of Human Resources at 1-800-332-6347 or apply online at https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/.
© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall