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Free or Reduced Meal Frequently Asked Questions

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    Who can get free or reduced-price meals?

    Children in households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), and foster children can get free school meals without reporting household income. Also, children can get free or reduced-price meals if their household income is within the maximum income shown for the household size on the instructions. Approval for school meal benefits is good for the current school year.

    Do foster children qualify for free meals?

    Yes, foster children who are the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals regardless of household income.

    I get WIC or Medical Assistance. Can my children get free school meals?

    Children in households participating in WIC or Medical Assistance do not automatically qualify for free meals.  Children may be eligible for free or reduced-price school meals depending on other household financial information. Please fill out an application here.

    May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S citizen?

    Yes. You or your children do not have to be U.S. citizens for your children to qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.

    Who should I include as household members?

    Include yourself and all other people living in the household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives of friends). Include a household member who is temporarily away, such as a college student.

    Free and Reduced Application Resources

    What if my income is not always the same?

    List the amount that you normally get. If you normally get overtime, include it, but not if you get it only sometimes. For seasonal work, write in the total annual income.

    How will the information I provide be kept?

    Information you provide on the form, and your child’s approval for school meal benefits, will be protected as private data. For more information, see the back page of the Application for Educational Benefits for details.

    Will the information or case number I give be checked?

    It may be.  We may also ask you to send written proof.

    What if I disagree with the school's decision about my application?

    You should talk to school officials. You may also ask for a hearing.

    If I don't qualify now, may I apply later?

    Yes.  Please complete an application at any time if your income goes down, your household size goes up, or you start getting SNAP, MFIP or FDPIR benefits.  

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