How Do You Apply for Free School Lunch Online?


Quick Answer

The website of the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers application files for its National School Lunch Program, which gives qualifying students free or discounted lunches. The website doesn't enable applicants to send in the application online, so they must mail it or drop it off at school.

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Full Answer

Before applying, applicants should consult the Income Eligibility Guidelines on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service website. The USDA presents school meal applications in English, Spanish, Arabic, Greek and several other languages. The applications are available in PDF format, so applicants need Adobe Reader to open the files. Once opened, applicants can print the applications and fill them out or type and then print them out.

As of 2015, the English application requires applicants to write the first and last names and middle initials of all members of the household; the names of those receiving other benefits, such as through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; the total household gross income; and how often the household receives this income. The application also includes a section where applicants can note whether their children are migrants or runaways.

Those in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program already qualify for free school lunches, but may still need to complete applications, depending on their school district's regulations.

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