New free, reduced-price school lunch guidelines released

New eligibility guidelines have been set for the school year’s free and reduced-price meal program.

The State Board of Education released the new guidelines this week, which are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and families participating need to meet certain income criteria says ISBE Principal Consultant Tim Murphy.

“The most important thing for families and households to know is that they can apply at the beginning of the start this school year. They can apply at any time during the school year. And, they should be receiving those applications from those schools.”

Families need to apply each year for the federal school nutrition program that provides healthy meals to low-income students.

Murphy says kids shouldn’t have to worry about their next meal.

“Nutrition is such an important part of the school day for every student and some families rely on these free and reduced meals to help them out. Then be able to go to the classrooms and have breakfast and be ready for the day and that lunch — that is so important.”

Murphy says studies show kids perform better at school if they are having nutritious meals.

They will have to meet the new income guidelines to qualify.

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