News Release

August 10, 2018


The Nebraska Department of Education’s Nutrition Services section has announced the Income Eligibility Guidelines for free and reduced price meals for those unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch, Breakfast, Special Milk and Child and Adult Care Food Programs.

Participating schools, child care, and adult care centers have a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

Application forms are currently being distributed to all households with a letter to parents, guardians, or adult participants. To apply for free or reduced price meals households should fill out the application and return it to their school or agency. Additional copies are available from the school principals or agency administrator. The information provided on the application will be used to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the year by school or program officials. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

Children who are members of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) assistance units, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) households are automatically eligible to receive free meals as are participants at adult care centers receiving Food Stamps, FDPIR, SSI, or Medicaid.

The same meals will be made available to all enrolled participants regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability, and there is no discrimination in the course of the meal service. Non-pricing programs provide meals at no separate charge. Pricing programs provide free and reduced price meals to those meeting the approved eligibility criteria. Persons who believe they have been treated unfairly in receiving food services for any of these reasons should write immediately to the Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.

The following household size and income criteria will be used for determining eligibility. Participants from families whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced price meals.



JULY 1, 2018 – JUNE 30, 2019



Free Meals Reduced Price Meals


Annual Monthly Weekly Annual Monthly Weekly
1 15,782 1,316 304 22,459 1,872 432
2 21,398 1,784 412 30,451 2,538 586
3 27,014 2,252 520 38,443 3,204 740
4 32,630 2,720 628 46,435 3,870 893
5 38,246 3,188 736 54,427 4,536 1,047
6 43,862 3,656 844 62,419 5,202 1,201
7 49,478 4,124 952 70,411 5,868 1,355
8 55,094 4,592 1,060 78,403 6,534 1,508
For each additional family member add: 5,616 468 108 7,992 666 154


NOTE TO MEDIA: A list of the participating schools and agencies, by county, is available on the Nutrition Services web site at Schools, Organizations, and Institutions Participating in Child Nutrition Programs.

A graphic file of the Income Guidelines is available at

USDA is an equal opportunity provider.

David Jespersen
Public Information Officer, Nebraska Department of Education