New Eligibility Guidelines for Free and Reduced School Meals Announced for the 2022-23 School Year 


HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Education today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released federal income eligibility guidelines for free and reduced-price school meals and free milk for July 2022 – June 2023.

Schools and other institutions and facilities use the guidelines to determine eligibility for the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Special Milk Program for Children, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Summer Food Service Program.

As schools begin to transition from use of nationwide waivers, which in the 2021-2022 school year included the option to serve free meals for all students, the importance of determining individual student eligibility is vital to ensure eligible students receive school meals at reduced or no cost.

“Offering free and reduced meals and free milk is a major way schools provide for their students. Keeping students fed means they can focus on learning in the classroom instead of having to think about where their next meal might come from,” said Vonda Ramp, state Director of Child Nutrition Programs.

To apply, households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) need only include the SNAP or TANF case number on their application. Households enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) may qualify for free or reduced-price school meals and should complete a Household Meal Benefit Application. Other households can find more information on the commonwealth’s COMPASS website.

The following annual income eligibility guidelines are effective July 1, 2022, until further notice:

Family SizeFree Meals or Milk(130% of Poverty Guidelines)Reduced Price Meals(185% of Poverty Guidelines)Not Eligible for Free or Reduced Price Meals or Milk
One$0 to $17,667$17,668 to $25,142$25,143 and up
Two$0 to $23,803$23,804 to $33,874$33,875 and up
Three$0 to $29,939$29,940 to $42,606$42,607 and up
Four$0 to $36,075$36,076 to $51,338$51,339 and up
Five$0 to $42,211$42,212 to $ 60,070$60,071 and up
Six$0 to $48,347$48,348 to $68,802$68,803 and up
Seven$0 to $54,483$54,484 to $77,534$77,535 and up
Eight$0 to $60,619$60,620 to $86,266$86,267 and up

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 Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online, 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 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:
    [email protected]

 This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, visit the Department of Education’s website.

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