Pennsylvania Department of Education, USDA Announce New Guidelines for Free and Reduced-Price Meals in Schools

by Meredith Cooper

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released federal income eligibility guidelines for free and reduced-price school meals and free milk for July 2016 through June 2017.

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Schools and other institutions and facilities use the guidelines to determine eligibility for the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Special Milk Program for Children, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Summer Food Service Program.

"Food insecurity impacts communities across the commonwealth," Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said. "Without proper nutrition a student's health, focus, and academic performance may decline. The free and reduced lunch, and other nutrition programs improve at-risk students' access to healthy meals, and overall health and wellbeing." 

Households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) need only include the SNAP or TANF case number on their application. Households enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) also may qualify for free or reduced-price school meals and should complete a Household Meal Benefit Application.

For more information on school nutrition, visit keyword "school nutrition."

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education