Guidelines for Free and Reduced-Price School Meals and Milk Programs


Jul 26, 2022

Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Food, Nutrition and Wellness Division has announced household size and income guidelines for free and reduced-price meals or free milk for those students unable to pay the full price for meals or milk served under the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, and Special Milk Programs. To view the release in en Español click here. To view an Kreyòl click here.

Each local school food authority office has a copy of the guidelines that may be reviewed by any interested party. The following household size and income criteria will be used for determining eligibility:



Reduced Price Meals

185% of federal poverty guidelines

Free Meals

130% of federal poverty guidelines

Household Size Yearly Monthly Twice Per


Every Two


Weekly Yearly Monthly Twice Per Month Every Two Weeks Weekly
1 25,142 2,096 1,048 967 484 17,667 1,473 737 680 340
2 33,874 2,823 1,412 1,303 652 23,803 1,984 992 916 458
3 42.606 3,551 1,776 1,639 820 29,939 2,495 1,248 1,152 576
4 51,338 4,279 2,140 1,975 988 36,075 3,007 1,504 1,388 694
5 60,070 5,006 2,503 2,311 1,156 42,211 3,518 1,759 1,624 812
5 68,802 5,734 2,867 2,647 1,324 48,347 4,029 2,015 1,860 930
7 77,534 6,462 3,231 2,983 1,492 54,483 4,541 2,271 2,096 1,048
8 86,266 7,189 3,595 3,318 1,659 60,619 5,052 2,526 2,332 1,166
For each additional person: +8,732 +728 +364 +336 +168 +6,136 +512 +256 +236 +118

*For the 48 contiguous United States, District of Columbia, Guam and territories

Children from households that meet federal guidelines are eligible for free or reduced- price meals or free milk.

Application forms are being provided to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced-price benefits, households must complete the application as soon as possible, sign it, and return it to the school.  One application should be submitted for all the students enrolled in the school food authority.  Households should answer all applicable questions on the form. An application that does not contain all the required information cannot be processed and approved by the school. The required information is:

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 information on the application for free or reduced-price meals may be verified by the school or other officials at any time during the school year.

The information households provide will be treated confidentially and will be used only for the eligibility determinations and verification of data.

Households may apply for benefits at 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, an application should be filled out 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 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.

Under the provisions of the policy, a local school food authority official will review applications and determine eligibility. Households dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may wish to discuss it with the school.

Households also have the right to a fair hearing which may be initiated by contacting the hearing official in the local school food authority.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:[  ], from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.