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Extension > Live Healthy, Live Well > School Meal Program Offers Free, Low-Cost Meals to Eligible Children

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

School Meal Program Offers Free, Low-Cost Meals to Eligible Children

By Gabriela Burk, Community Program Specialist

As your children head back to school, check into whether they’re eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs — simply called the “School Meal Program” in Minnesota.

This federally funded program, which is administered by the Minnesota Department of Education, pays for all or part of the cost of lunch and breakfast at public and private non-profit schools for children in grades K-12. Public and private non-profit residential childcare institutions also may participate in the School Meal Program. By offering healthy and nutritious meals, this program helps children learn and grow.

All K-12 students may eat meals offered through the School Meal Program, but their families must meet certain income criteria to qualify for free or reduced-price meals. You may pick up an application for receiving free or reduced-price meals at your child’s school office. Even if your child was enrolled in the program before, you must fill out a new application each school year.

For more information about the School Meal Program in Minnesota, visit the Bridge to Benefits website.

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