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Office of the State Superintendent of Education Announces Criteria and Participants for 2016-17 School Year Free and Reduced-Priced Meals

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education announces the criteria for determining the eligibility of children to receive free and reduced-price meals for institutions participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Special Milk Program (SMP) for free milk in schools.

For schools participating in the NSLP and SMP, a letter or notice and family application forms are distributed to parents of all children in attendance at school at the beginning of each school year. The letter or notice shall contain the following information:

  • The eligibility criteria for either free or reduced-priced meal benefits and for free milk benefits;
  • How a household may complete an application for free or reduced-price meals or for free milk for its children;
  • An explanation that an application for free or reduced-price benefits cannot be approved unless it is completed in its entirety;
  • An explanation that households with children who are members of currently certified food stamp or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) households may submit applications with abbreviated information;
  • An explanation that the information on the application may be verified at any time during the school year;
  • How a household may apply for benefits at any time during the school year as circumstances change;
  • A statement that children having parents or guardians who become unemployed are eligible for free or reduced-price meals or for free milk, provided that the income is within the eligibility criteria;
  • A statement that in certain cases foster children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals or free milk regardless of the household income; and
  • How a household may appeal the decision of the School Food Authority under the appeal procedures by making a request to the school official.

For participating institutions under CACFP, a similar letter is distributed to parents/guardians and/or adults enrolled in CACFP informing them of the benefits of the program, the purpose of collecting income information, defining a household, and information on reporting receipt of food stamps, TANF, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Medicaid. In addition, information is provided on how households may appeal decisions determined by the CACFP organizations.

The CACFP institutions and schools will receive free or reduced-price meal reimbursement based on the following income scales from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, calculated on annual income.

Family Size

Eligibility Scale for Free Meals

Family Size

Eligibility Scale for Reduced-Price Meals

One $15,444 One $21,978
Two $20,826 Two $29,637
Three $26,208 Three $37,296
Four $31,590 Four $44,953
Five $36,972 Five $52,614
Six $42,354 Six $60,273
Seven $47,749 Seven $67,951
Eight $53,157 Eight $75,647
Each additional family member +$5,408 Each additional family member +$7,696

Special Milk Program – All

  • The Episcopal Center for Children

National School Lunch Program – Public Charter Schools [PDF]

National School Lunch Program – DC Public Schools [PDF]

National School Lunch Program – Private Schools [PDF]

A complete listing of institutions participating in the 2015-16 Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) [PDF]

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, etc.), 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) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, 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: US Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20250-9410;

(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) Email: [email protected]

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.