Eligibility Manual for School Meals, Determining and Verifying Eligibility (Current Edition: July 2017) - This comprehensive, and user-friendly manual is the USDA guidance document for certifying students for free or reduced price meals. The manual provides information on federal requirements, policies, and procedures, and is intended to help state agencies and local educational agencies accurately determine, certify, and verify children’s eligibility for free and reduced price school meals and free milk.
The below documents summarize important parts of the eligibility process.
Income Eligibility Guidelines
Sponsors operating Afterschool Snack or the Special Milk Program will need to use the Federal Income Guidelines only. Sponsors that are private schools cannot elect any of the SSA incentive programs and should only use the Federal Income Guidelines.
Oregon's Expanded Income Guidelines (EIG) for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program are effective as of July 1, 2020. These allow students in households with income above the federal reduced income guidelines to receive their meals at no charge in schools
who elect to participate in this Child Nutrition Program Initiative of the Student Success Act. Updated information about the impact of COVID-19 on this initiative is forthcoming. The link below includes the federal guidelines and the Oregon Expanded Income Guidelines:
2020-2021 Materials for the Confidential Household Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals
These forms are intended for printing. To make an accessible version to distribute, or for more information about the paper-based prototype or the web-based prototype household application, access the information and documents by going to the USDA webpage:
Applying for Free and Reduced Price School Meals, and contact ODE School Nutrition at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional details to include Oregon EIG information.
The Prototype Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals in the link below does not include the Oregon EIG information. Sponsors that have only private schools or who only operate the Special Milk Program cannot elect any of the SSA incentive programs, and should use the Federal Income Guidelines along with the prototype applications from the USDA.
Oregon Household Applications for School Year 2020-2021
The links to the application with the five common languages have been modified to include the added Oregon EIG eligibility category in the school use area of the form. Only public school sponsors who have been approved for the Oregon EIG Incentive Program should use these applications or modify prototype applications to include the Oregon EIG category.
Application Instructions, Parent FAQ, and Translated Materials
- Oregon Expanded Income Guidelines (EIG) Parent FAQ about Free and Reduced Price School Meals (English) - Coming Soon
Translated Eligibility Materials (USDA FNS) - Each language link is a translated packet that includes the household application, application instructions, a parent/guardian FAQ, and the template household letters.
- "I Speak" - This resource document is available to help identify the primary language of non-English speakers. It uses a short phrase in each of the 49 languages that an applicant can check to indicate the language they speak. "I Speak" can help Local Educational Agencies select the appropriate translation as well as ensure consistent and effective interaction with applicants who have limited English proficiency.