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Department of Education Releases Free and Reduced-Price Meal Income Guidelines for 2023-24 School Year

News Release from Oregon Department of Education


SALEM – 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 and 30 cents for breakfast.

Household Income Guidelines

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

Federal Free Meals

Household SizeAnnual SalaryPaid MonthlyTwice Per MonthEvery Two WeeksWeekly
-1- 18,954 1,580 790 729 365
-2- 25,636 2,137 1,069 986 493
-3- 32,318 2,694 1,347 1,243 622
-4- 39,000 3,250 1,625 1,500 750
-5- 45,682 3,807 1,904 1,757 879
-6- 52,364 4,364 2,182 2,014 1,007
-7- 59,046 4,921 2,461 2,271 1,136
-8- 65,728 5,478 2,739 2,528 1,264
For each additional family member add 6,682 557 279 257 129

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

Federal Reduced Price Meals

Household SizeAnnual SalaryPaid MonthlyTwice Per MonthEvery Two WeeksWeekly
-1- 26,973 2,248 1,124 1,038 519
-2- 36,482 3,041 1,521 1,404 702
-3- 45,991 3,833 1,917 1,769 885
-4- 55,500 4,625 2,313 2,135 1,068
-5- 65,009 5,418 2,709 2,501 1,251
-6- 74,518 6,210 3,105 2,867 1,434
-7- 84,027 7,003 3,502 3,232 1,616
-8- 93,536 7,795 3,898 3,598 1,799
For each additional family member add 9,509 793 397 366 183

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, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: Filing a Program Complaint as a USDA Customer webpage, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 Complaint form or letter must be submitted 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; or
  2. fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.



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