The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released guidelines for the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, and Child and Adult Care Food programs, which are up 1.27 percent from last year. Now, families of four at 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level qualify if their incomes are $31,005 and $44,123, respectively.
The change is based on the economy, and it means more people will qualify for the programs, said Michigan Department of Education spokesman Bill DiSessa.
Families with income between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced-price meals and milk, meaning they won’t be charged more than 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch.
The new guidelines are effective through June 2015, and DiSessa encourages eligible families and students to participate in the federal programs.
“These programs are very important,” he said. “They provide very nutritious meals.”
About 49 percent of Michigan’s K-12 students were eligible for the free or reduced lunches during the 2013-14 school year. About 70 percent of those students participated in the program.
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