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Commonly asked questions:
Who can get free or reduced-price meals? Children in households participating in Food Support (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. An application must be submitted each school year.
Can foster children get 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. Can my children get free meals? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Please fill out an application.
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 meals.
If I don’t qualify now, may I apply later? Yes. You may apply at any time during the school year if your income goes down, household size goes up, or if you start getting Food Support (SNAP), MFIP, or FDPIR benefits.
Who should I include as members of my household? Include yourself and all other people living in the household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives or friends). Include a household member who is temporarily away, such as a college student. Do not include a person who is economically independent and pays their full pro-rated share of all expenses.
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.
Are military housing and supplemental allowances counted as income? Do not include any housing allowance from the Military Housing Privatization Initiative or a Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance. Include the portion of a deployed service member’s income that is made available to the household, except do not include combat pay or Deployment Extension Incentive Pay.
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. See the back page of the Application for Educational Benefits for more information.
Will the information I give be checked? Yes and 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 also may ask for a hearing.
Do I need to notify school officials if my income increases or my household size decreases after I have qualified for free or reduced-price meals? No. Approval for free or reduced-price meals is good for the school year unless the household has received a temporary approval for school meal benefits.