Guidelines for free and reduced lunch programs announced

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) announced the United States Department of Agriculture income guidelines for free and reduced price meals served under the School Lunch & School Breakfast Programs.  Families with children attending any school in the New Albany School District  who are unable to pay the full price of the meals are encouraged to apply for benefits.


Meal applications and instructions for applying for meal benefits were sent home with each student during registration or on the first day of attendance.  To apply for the meal benefits, each household should fill out the application and return it to the school.  Additional copies of the application are available at the administrative office of each facility.

For the school officials to determine eligibility, the household must report income information or provide a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly the Food Stamp Program or TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) case number.  If the child receives TANF payments or is a member of a SNAP household, the parent or guardian has to provide only the name of the child, SNAP or TANF or FDPIR case number, and sign the application, in order for the child to receive free meals.

Other applicants must report household income identified by source, such as earnings, welfare and alimony received by each household member. 

In order for income applicants to be approved, the household must provide the following on the application:  the names of all household members, each household member’s monthly income identified by source; the signature of an adult household member certifying that the information provided is correct; and the social security number of an adult who signs the application or an indication that this adult household member does not have a social security number.  The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only for purposes of determining eligibility and verifying data.  The information provided may be verified at any time during the year by the school or program officials. 

Households are no longer required to report increases in household income of over $50 per month or $600 per year and decreases in household size.  If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school.  These changes may make the children of the household eligible for reduced price or free meals.  Households may apply for benefits at any time during the year as circumstances change.

In certain cases, foster children are also eligible for meal benefits.  If a household has foster children living with them and wish to apply for meal benefits for them, the household should contact the school for more information.

For more information, contact Margaret Floyd, Director of Child Nutrition at 662-534-1802.