Free and Reduced-Price Process

Households become eligible for free or reduced-price school meals by completing an application for educational benefits and/or meeting specific eligibility criteria that allows students to be listed on a direct certification report. Additionally, sponsors of school nutrition programs must verify a percentage of households annually to ensure households are receiving the correct level of meal benefits. Find U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) memos for the free and reduced-price process, student meal applications, direct certification, and verification in the left navigation menu.