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Income Guidelines for National Free and Reduced Priced Meals for Schools and the CACFP are Announced

LANSING – The Michigan Department of Education has announced the household income guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for free and reduced-price meals and free milk through the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, and Child and Adult Care Food Programs. The income guidelines are effective from now through June 30, 2022.

Families should contact their school, school district, childcare center, or family day care home sponsor to find out whether it participates in these programs.

Schools, childcare centers, adult day care centers, and family day care home sponsors will provide a form for applying for free or reduced-price meals. Only one application is required per household. For School Year (SY) 2021-2022, schools participating in the seamless summer option (SSO) will offer all meals free. Most participating centers and all participating family childcare homes will provide meals to all enrolled children without a separate charge.

Adults, children, or foster children who are recipients of various programs such as Michigan’s Family Independence Program, Food Assistance Program, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, or who are enrolled in Head Start, an at-risk afterschool center, or an emergency shelter automatically qualify for free meals. Households with incomes less than or equal to the following guidelines qualify for free or reduced-price meals or free milk.

An application to a school, childcare center, adult day care center, or family day care home sponsor can be approved if it contains complete documentation of household income or documentation of current participation in Michigan’s Family Independence Program, Food Assistance Program, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations. Information supplied on an application for free or reduced-price meals may be verified at any time. An appeal procedure is available for households where applications are denied.

Participating schools, childcare centers, adult day care centers, and family day care home sponsors accept applications for free or reduced-price meals at any time during the year. A household may qualify for free or reduced-price meals due to a temporary loss of income, such as a period of unemployment.

If a doctor has determined that a child or adult has a disability, and the disability would prevent the participant from eating the regular school or center-based meal, the school or center will make reasonable substitutions to meal and/or snacks for participants who are considered to have a disability or medical need that restricts their diet. This is done on a case-by-case basis. A doctor’s statement, including prescribed diet and/or substitution, must be submitted to the food service department of the school, childcare facility, or adult care facility.

Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language) should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the federal relay service at 800-877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027) online at and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call 866-632-9992.  Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: 202-690-7442; or (3) email: This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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