Apply for Free and Reduced-Price Meal

  • The application process for participation in school meal programs is simple and confidential. Applications can be submitted any time during the school year. Households that experience a change in income are encouraged to apply.

    The following students may be eligible:

    • Students receiving help through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Basic Food Program – as well as all other students in the same household – automatically qualify for free meals.
    • Children participating in certain Medicaid programs. All other students in the household can automatically qualify for free or reduced-price meals and eligibility can be extended.
    • Children in foster care are also eligible for free meal benefits.
    • Students experiencing homelessness and migrant students, households taking part in Food Distribution Program on Native Reservations, and students in Head Start and the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program are also eligible for free meals.

    Eligibility lasts from the date of approval up to the first 30 operating days of the next school year or until a family member contacts the school or district.

    The income guidelines listed below are used to determine the eligibility of children to receive free or reduced-price meals or free milk. Washington state pays the cost of lunch for public school students eligible for reduced-price meals in grades K‒3 and the cost of breakfast for public school students eligible for reduced-price meals in grades K‒12.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Child Nutrition Program Income Guidelines
    July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019

    FREE MEALS:

    Household Size

    Annual

    Monthly

    Twice per month

    Every two Weeks

    Weekly

    1

    $15,782

    $1,316

    $658

    $607

    $304

    2

    21,398

    1,784

    892

    823

    412

    3

    27,014

    2,252

    1,126

    1,039

    520

    4

    32,630

    2,720

    1,360

    1,255

    628

    5

    38,246

    3,188

    1,594

    1,471

    736

    6

    43,862

    3,656

    1,828

    1,687

    844

    7

    49,478

    4,124

    2,062

    1,903

    952

    8

    55,094

    4,592

    2,296

    2,119

    1,060

    MORE*

    +5,616

    +468

    +234

    +216

    +108

     

    REDUCED-PRICE MEALS:

    Household Size

    Annual

    Monthly

    Twice per month

    Every two Weeks

    Weekly

    1

    $22,459

    $1,872

    $936

    $864

    $432

    2

    30,451

    2,538

    1,269

    1,172

    586

    3

    38,443

    3,204

    1,602

    1,479

    740

    4

    46,435

    3,870

    1,935

    1,786

    893

    5

    54,427

    4,536

    2,268

    2,094

    1,047

    6

    62,419

    5,202

    2,601

    2,401

    1,201

    7

    70,411

    5,868

    2,934

    2,709

    1,355

    8

    78,403

    6,534

    3,267

    3,016

    1,508

    More*

    +7,733

    +645

    +323

    +298

    +149

    * For each additional household member, add this amount

    If you have questions about eligibility, contact your child’s school.

    Schools with more than 25 percent of the enrolled K‒4 students qualifying for free or reduced-price meals are required to operate the National School Lunch Program. In addition, schools with more than 40 percent of enrolled students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals are required to operate the School Breakfast Program.

    For more information