FLORIDA — The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has announced guidelines for free and reduced-price meals for low-income students.

Free or reduced meals, including milk, are served under the National School Lunch, School Breakfast and Special Milk programs.

Parents will receive an application form along with a letter, according to FDACS. Parents are asked to complete the application form as soon as possible and return it to their child’s school. The school food authority allows parents to submit one application for all students.

The required information includes:

  • SNAP / TANF HOUSEHOLDS: If a household currently receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or “Temporary Assistance for Needy Families” (TANF) for any child or other household member, they need only to list the child’s name and SNAP or TANF case number and sign the application.
  • ALL OTHER HOUSEHOLDS: If a household’s income is at or below the level shown on the income scale, children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals or free milk. Households must provide the following information: (1) the names of all household members, (2) all household income last month and source of income received by each household member (for example, EARNINGS, WELFARE, PENSION or OTHER). Income is all money before taxes or anything else is taken out, (3) the signature of an adult household member, and (4) the last four numbers of the Social Security number of the adult signing the application.

The following household size and income criteria will be used for determining eligibility:


Households may apply for benefits any time during the school year. If a household is not eligible now, but has a decrease in household income, an increase in household size or a household member becomes unemployed, they should fill out an application at that time.

Foster children are eligible for free meal or milk benefits regardless of the household income. If a household has foster children living with them and they wish to apply for meals or milk benefits for them, they should contact the school for help with the application.

Children enrolled in the Head Start/Even Start Program (how to apply) or the Migrant Education Program or who are considered homeless or runaway by the school district’s homeless liaison should contact the school for assistance in receiving benefits.