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Eligible Families Encouraged to Apply for Free & Reduced-Price Meal Programs

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) administers the following United States (U.S.) Department of Agriculture nutrition programs: National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Special Milk Program.

The application process for participation in school meal programs is simple and confidential. All households with students enrolled in public K–12 schools receive application packets at the beginning of the school year. Households with incomes below certain levels (see the tables below) are encouraged to apply for any or all of the administered programs. The application packet provides instructions and directions on where to send the applications. Application review and determinations are made within 10 operating days of receipt of the application. Households denied eligibility can appeal the decision by contacting their school.

Applications can be submitted any time during the school year. Households that experience a change in income are encouraged to apply.

Students receiving help through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Basic Food Program – as well as all other students in the same household – automatically qualify for free meals. The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) provides OSPI with a list of children who receive these services to facilitate automatic eligibility. If a household chooses to decline the free meal benefits after they are notified of their children’s eligibility, they must contact the school.

DSHS also provides OSPI with a list of children participating in certain Medicaid programs. All other students in the household can automatically qualify for free or reduced-price meals and eligibility can be extended.

Children in foster care are also eligible for free meal benefits. Children placed in foster care by DSHS are included in the list provided to OSPI. In households where children in foster care reside, all other students in the household may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals based on household size and income. In these situations, households may submit an application.

Students experiencing homelessness and migrant students, households taking part in Food Distribution Program on Native Reservations, and students in Head Start and the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program are also eligible for free meals.

The income guidelines listed below are used to determine the eligibility of children to receive free or reduced-price meals or free milk. Washington state pays the cost of lunch for public school students eligible for reduced-price meals in grades K‒3 and the cost of breakfast for public school students eligible for reduced-price meals in grades K‒12.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Child Nutrition Program Income Guidelines
July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019

FREE MEALS:

Household Size

Annual

Monthly

Twice per month

Every two Weeks

Weekly

1

$15,782

$1,316

$658

$607

$304

2

21,398

1,784

892

823

412

3

27,014

2,252

1,126

1,039

520

4

32,630

2,720

1,360

1,255

628

5

38,246

3,188

1,594

1,471

736

6

43,862

3,656

1,828

1,687

844

7

49,478

4,124

2,062

1,903

952

8

55,094

4,592

2,296

2,119

1,060

MORE*

+5,616

+468

+234

+216

+108

 

REDUCED-PRICE MEALS:

Household Size

Annual

Monthly

Twice per month

Every two Weeks

Weekly

1

$22,459

$1,872

$936

$864

$432

2

30,451

2,538

1,269

1,172

586

3

38,443

3,204

1,602

1,479

740

4

46,435

3,870

1,935

1,786

893

5

54,427

4,536

2,268

2,094

1,047

6

62,419

5,202

2,601

2,401

1,201

7

70,411

5,868

2,934

2,709

1,355

8

78,403

6,534

3,267

3,016

1,508

More*

+7,733

+645

+323

+298

+149

For each additional household member, add this amount

Contact Palouse School at 509-878-1921 or Garfield School 509-635-1331 for more information.