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Free School Lunch and Reduced School Lunch Programs

Updated on September 24, 2011
National School Lunch Act provides meals to millions of low income children
National School Lunch Act provides meals to millions of low income children | Source

The official title of the Free School Lunch Program is the The National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

The program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and it issued to low income families by their children's school.

The school lunch program offers nutritious lunches for children in school at either a free or reduced lunch rate.

Back in the day, when we received free lunches at school, we were issued cards to differentiate us from students who paid for their lunch.

Today, the system is more anonymous and poor children, and kids from low income families are not singled out in front of their peers -- Thank Goodness!


Your income will determine whether or not your child will receive free lunch, reduced lunch or a complete denial of the application - which results in you having to pay full price for your child's school lunch.

If have a low income, you should easily qualify for the school lunch program - many people with moderate incomes are suprised to find that they will qualify for reduced lunch - you never know, so you have to apply.

If your household is taking part in the Food Stamp Program, your child is usually automatically eligible.

There is a space on the school lunch form that asks whether or not you participate in the program, if you answer accordingly, your child should have no problems.

The Benefits of Free Lunch Programs

How to Apply for the Program

At the begining of the school year, children are sent home with a school lunch application form.

If your child enters a school in the middle of the school year, you will have to request the school lunch form.

If your child is very young, you should contact his/her teacher and ask her to send a form home to you by way of the child. '

If you are not working during the day, you can go to the school yourself and fill out the free lunch form.

*Also, if you have elementary age kids, you should ask about the school breakfast program

As you can see, there are various ways to apply for the school lunch program, it is really easy, so "get 'er done," and make sure your child does not miss out on nutritious meals


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    • pamelareadz profile image

      Pamela Cornes 

      7 years ago from Memphis, TN

      Thanks for the was really informative.


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