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Department of Education announces 2022-23 Free and Reduced meal guidelines


(Salem, Ore.) – Each year, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) announces income guidelines that are used to determine eligibility for free or reduced price meal benefits. 

The guidelines are determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Eligible sites that do not participate in the School Breakfast Program and/or National School Lunch Program may participate in the Special Milk Program, which offers free milk to eligible students using the below guidelines. 

Under these federal programs, qualifying students receive meals or milk without charge, or may pay a reduced price of no more than 40 cents for lunch. The Oregon Legislature provides funding that eliminates the reduced price payment for School Breakfast and Lunch, therefore for the 2022-23 school year, breakfast and lunch will be accessible at no charge to students who qualify for reduced price meals.

Household Income Guidelines

Participants may qualify for free meals if the household income falls at or below the limits on this chart:

Household SizeAnnual SalaryPaid MonthlyTwice Per MonthEvery Two WeeksWeekly
-1-17,667        1,473           737           680  340
-2-23,803        1,984           992           916  458
-3-29,939        2,495        1,248        1,152  576
-4-36,075        3,007        1,504        1,388  694
-5-42,211        3,518        1,759        1,624  812
-6-48,347        4,029        2,015        1,860  930
-7-54,483        4,541        2,271        2,0961,048
-8-60,619        5,052        2,526        2,3321,166
For each additional family member add6,136           512           256           236   118

Participants may qualify for reduced price meals if the household income falls at or below the limits on this chart:

Household SizeAnnual SalaryPaid MonthlyTwice Per MonthEvery Two WeeksWeekly
-1-25,1422,0961,048  967  484
-2-33,8742,8231,4121,303  652
-3-42,6063,5511,7761,639  820
-4-51,3384,2792,1401,975  988
-7-77,5346,4623,2312,983 1,492
-8-86,2667,1893,5953,318 1,659
For each additional family member add  8,732 728  364   336    168

Children in households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) are eligible for free meals. Households receiving SNAP or TANF benefits may be directly certified to receive free meal or milk benefits by a letter from their school advising them of their eligibility for free meal or milk benefits. Schools will accept the DHS notice/certification letter from students as proof of eligibility for free meals or milk. No other application or verification of eligibility is required for students directly certified.

When known, the household will be notified of any child’s eligibility for free meals if the individual child is receiving educational support through migrant education, homeless or runaway education, Head Start or is in foster care. 

Households notified of their children’s eligibility must contact the school if the household chooses to decline the free meal benefits.

Households not directly certified may complete a confidential application for free or reduced price meals or free milk. An official at the school will review the confidential application and determine eligibility. Children in eligible households may receive meal benefits regardless of immigration status. Applications may be submitted anytime during the year. Information provided on an application may be verified at any time during the school year. An application cannot be approved unless it contains the following information:

  • A SNAP or TANF case number or an indication that the household is receiving FDPIR and the signature of an adult household member, or
  • The names of all household members, the amount and source of income received by each household member in the prior month, the signature of an adult household member and the last four digits of the social security number of the adult household member who signs the application (or a statement that the person has no social security number).

A secure web-based version of the National School Lunch/School Breakfast Programs Household Application for Free or Reduced Price Meals is available statewide for Households to apply for meal benefits. All applications are reviewed by the appropriate sponsor/school district nutrition office for approval.

Formal Appeals

Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the school official who determines eligibility may discuss the decision with the official. Parents/guardians wishing to make a formal appeal may make a written or oral request to the school’s hearings officer (contact the school for the name, address, and phone number of the officer) for a hearing on the decision.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.  

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 

  1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture  Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights  1400 Independence Avenue, SW  Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 
  2. fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
  3. email:

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