The National School
Lunch and School Breakfast Programs as
administered by Dade County Public Schools
provides free and reduced priced meals for
children unable to pay the full price.
households who receive food stamps and/or
Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) and who
have a social security number on file at the
school may be eligible for direct certification.
Students approved by direct certification are not
required to have an application on file.
are sent to all homes with a letter to parents or
guardians. To apply for free or reduced priced
meals, parents of students not approved by direct
certification must fill out the application and
return it to the school. Additional copies are
available in the principal's office.
households with incomes of less than or equal to
the income criteria may be eligible for either
free or reduced priced meals.
Each school and
the school system's Department of Food and
Nutrition have copies which are available to the
Important: A new
family meal application must be filled out at the
beginning of each school year in order for meal
benefits to continue. Meal benefits begin on the
day the application is approved at the school site
and continue throughout the school year in which
the application is approved, the summer, and
approximately the first twenty days of next school
year. Any student who does not have a current
application on file at the school site will be
unable to receive meal benefits after September
Questions regarding completing a Free and Reduced
households that meet Federal Guidelines are
eligible for free lunch or reduced price lunch
($.40). Full price students pay $2.25 in
elementary school and $2.50 in middle or senior
high school. Breakfast is free to all students.
Below are questions frequently asked concerning
Free and Reduced Price Meal Applications.
- Do I need to
fill out an application for each of my children?
No. Use one Free and Reduced Price Meal
Application for all students in your household.
Exception: If you are applying for a foster
child, you must complete a separate application
for each foster child.
- What happens
if I do not complete all the information on my
application? We cannot approve an application
that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all
required information. Return the completed
application to the school where your youngest
- How do I
report my household income? You must report the
gross income amount of each member of your
household. In addition, you must fill in the
appropriate pay frequency circle.
- (W= Weekly, 2W
= Every 2 weeks, M = Monthly, 2M = Twice a
- Who qualifies
for free lunch? Children in households receiving
Food Stamps or TANF and most foster children
qualify for free lunch regardless of your
household income. Also, your children will
qualify for free lunch if your household income
is within the limits on the Income Eligibility
- Who qualifies
for reduced price lunch? Your children can be
approved for low cost lunch if your household
income is within the reduced price meal limits
on the Federal Income Chart shown on the
- Who should I
include as members of my household? You must
include all people living in your household,
related or not (such as grandparents, other
relatives or friends). You must include yourself
and children who live with you.
- May I apply if
someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen?
Yes. You or your child(ren) do not have to be
U.S. citizens to qualify for free or reduced
- What if my
income is not always the same? List the amount
that you normally receive. For example, if you
normally receive $1,000 each month, but you
worked less last month and only got paid $900,
write $1,000 per month on the application. If
you normally receive overtime, include it, but
not if the overtime is only occasional.