School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs

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February 2023 Update: The Connecticut legislation and Governor Lamont will provide $60 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to give students in grades K-12 free meals until June 30, 2023. This will apply to both breakfast and lunch for schools that offer both.


Program Description: Free or reduced price breakfasts and lunches are served in elementary and secondary schools to enrolled students whose family income is at or below 130% (free meals) or at or below 185% (reduced price meals).

Schools are not required to provide breakfast or lunch.

The School Lunch and Breakfast program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and administered in Connecticut by the State Department of Education’s Bureau of Health, Nutrition, Family Services, and Adult Education.

Who is Eligible?

How to Obtain Service: Ask at child’s school to see if the school offers this program; if so, obtain an application form from the school. Forms can be mailed to parents or sent home with the children. Parents who receive TFA or SNAP (food stamps) can put their State Assistance ID # on the form. They do not have to fill out the income section because if eligibility has been determined already for TFA or SNAP they are categorically eligible for free school meals.

Timetable: Parents/guardians can apply for free/reduced meals at any time during the school year.

Will Other Kids Know that My Child is Getting a Free Meal? All children receive the same meal and use the same eating facility regardless of what they are paying for the meals. In Connecticut it is illegal for students getting a free or reduced price meal to be given special meal tickets, be made to use different lines or rooms, or be given a different choice of food.


SOURCE: U.S. Department of Agriculture; Connecticut Association for Human Services publication “How to Get Food In Connecticut.”