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ISSUE DATE: 06/2012

The School Lunch Program is a federally-funded program providing free and reduced-price lunches to low income school children in grades 1 through 12. Children receiving MFIP or SNAP will usually be eligible for the program without formal application.

An electronic certification of MAXIS data is sent to all school districts. The data is used to certify students for the School Lunch Program for the school year. DHS no longer sends the Annual School Meal Notice to clients.

During August, each school district sends a notice to parents/guardians informing them of students in their household who are eligible for the School Lunch Program and that no further application is needed. The parents/guardian will also be informed if their child has NOT been certified for the School Lunch Program. The parent/guardian may complete an application for that child at the school food service office. Eligibility for free or reduced price meals for the child is based on their household income.

If for some reason a child’s name is not on the electronic match sent to the schools, the child can still enroll in the program by applying directly to the school.

When clients apply through the schools, verify MFIP or SNAP benefit status if the client signs a written release of information. Schools are responsible for getting written information releases from school lunch applicants. File a copy of the release in the case file.

Families must report to the school the loss of SNAP or MFIP. Children in families that lose MFIP may still qualify for reduced prices or free meals.

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