Income Guidelines Set for National Free and Reduced-Priced Meals for Schools and Child and Adult Care Food Program

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

July 22, 2020

LANSING – The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) today announced the 2020-21 household income guidelines 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, established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), are effective from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021:

Total Family Size 

Annual 

Monthly 

Annual 

Monthly 

1

$16,588 

$1,383 

$23,606 

$1,968 

2

$22,412 

$1,868 

$31,894 

$2,658 

3

$28,236 

$2,353 

$40,182 

$3,349 

4

$34,060 

$2,839 

$48,470 

$4,040 

5

$39,884 

$3,324 

$56,758 

$4,730 

6

$45,708 

$3,809 

$65,046 

$5,421 

7

$51,532 

$4,295 

$73,334 

$6,112 

8

$57,356 

$4,780 

$81,622 

$6,802 

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 to apply for free or reduced-price meals. Only one application is required per household. Most participating centers and all participating family childcare homes provide meals to all enrolled participants without any separate charge.

Automatically qualifying for free meals are 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. 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 meal, the school or center will make any substitution prescribed by a doctor at no charge. The doctor’s statement, including prescribed diet and/or substitution, must be submitted to the food service department of the school or child or adult care facility.