Back to School...Completing the Free and Reduced Meal Forms

This week is the end of summer and children are headed back to school.  Many important papers are sent home the first week of school.  Take special notice of the Free and Reduced Meal forms as they can help children who qualify receive free or reduced price meals at school.  Here are a few common questions and answers about Free and Reduced meals.

Q:  How do I know if my children qualify?
A:  If your family is receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, your child qualifies for free school meals.  Please contact your school to determine if you need to fill out an application. 

 Your children may also qualify for free and reduced meals:
  • If you are eligible for unemployment compensation.
  • If you are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). 
  • If you participate in WIC.
  • If your earnings are at or below the current Income Eligibility Guidelines 
Q:  What do I need to do to apply?
A:  To determine eligibility, complete a school meal application.  The school will process your application and let you know if you are eligible.

Q:  If my child qualified last year, do I need to apply again?
A:  Yes.  Those families who received free and reduced meals last year still need to complete a new form for this school year.

Q:  When do I need to submit the forms?
A:  Schools send free and reduced meal applications home at the beginning of each school year.  It is better to apply early, but you may apply at any time during the school year.  So, if your family income level should change during the school year, ask for an application from your school.

Have a great school year!

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This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP in cooperation with Maryland's Department of Human Services and University of Maryland Extension. 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.
© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall