Income guidelines set for free and reduced-price school meals
The Illinois State Board of Education established its policy for free and reduced-price lunch, breakfast and after-school snacks for those students unable to pay the full price for meals and snacks under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The policy, effective at the start of the fiscal year July 1, sets the guidelines for schools as they prepare to welcome back students to the classroom.
From 2003 to 2012, students eligible for free or reduced priced lunch increased from 42.7 percent to 53.6 percent, meaning about 1 million students in Illinois public and private schools now qualify for a free or reduced lunch.
Children whose household income is 130 percent of the federal poverty guideline qualify for free meals, and children whose household income is 185 percent of the federal poverty guideline qualify for reduced-price meals.
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