News Release

August 14, 2019


The Nebraska Department of Education’s Office of Nutrition Services 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 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, Supplemental Security Income, 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, 2019 – JUNE 30, 2020



Free Meals Reduced Price Meals
  Annual Monthly Weekly Annual Monthly Weekly
1 16,237 1,354 313 23,107 1,926 445
2 21,983 1,832 423 31,284 2,607 602
3 27,729 2,311 534 39,461 3,289 759
4 33,475 2,790 644 47,638 3,970 917
5 39,221 3,269 755 55,815 4,652 1,074
6 44,967 3,748 865 72,169 6,015 1,231
7 50,713 4,227 976 72,169 6,015 1,388
8 56,459 4,705 1,086 80,346 6,696 1,546

For each additional family member add:




















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