New eligibility guidelines for Free and Reduced School Meals announced for the 2023-24 School Year

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The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released federal income eligibility guidelines for free and reduced-price school meals and free milk for July 2023 – June 2024.

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.

“Free and reduced-price meals ensure at-risk students have access to nutritious food, enabling them to focus in the classroom and learn, grow, and achieve,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin. “We know that food insecurity impacts communities across the Commonwealth and beyond, and the Department of Education encourages all eligible households to apply for this benefit.”

To apply, households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 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) or Medicaid may qualify for free or reduced-price school meals based on income and should complete a Household Meal Benefit Application. Other households can find more information on the commonwealth’s COMPASS website.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and USDA civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:


U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or


(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

The following annual income eligibility guidelines are effective July 1, 2023, until further notice:

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit the website or follow PDE on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Pinterest.

Courtesy of Taj Magruder,

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