O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

Free and Reduced Meal Income Guidelines


As adults get ready for school and students get excited about (or maybe not) the start of the school year part of the planning is the cost. Book fees, new clothes, and if school lunches or brown-baggin it fits the family best.

For busy families with limited income the free or reduced lunch option might be available. The Iowa Department of Education, Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services published the income guidelines for qualification of the program.

Households may be eligible for free or reduced price meals or snacks in one of four ways.

1. Households whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for reduced price meals or free meals/milk. Complete 1 application listing all children and return it to your school or daycare provider. List only the last 4 digits of the social security number of the household’s primary wage earner or another adult household member is needed.

2. Households already receiving food assistance or in some specific Medicaid programs are already eligible. Many of the children may be qualified automatically. Such households will receive a letter from their children’s schools notifying them of the benefit. If you receive a letter, you do not need to apply. Contact the school or daycare provided if you see any errors or omissions on the letter. You must contact the school/provider if you choose to decline the benefit.

3. Some families will receive a letter from DHS notifying them that children in the household qualify. These households must take the letter to the school/provider to receive the benefit.

4. If a household receives food assistance by did not receive a letter from DHS much complete an application.

Your school can provide answers for your specific circumstances. If you have questions contact the attendance center for your child(ren).


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