The U.S. Department of Agriculture's new guidelines for the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, and Child and Adult Care Food programs are in effect through the end of June 2014.
In order for families to qualify for the free meals or free milk program, a family of four must have an annual income of no more than $30,615, or about $2,116 monthly before taxes.
To qualify for the reduced-price meals program, a family of four must make no more than $43,568 annually, or about $3,631 a month.
Students eligible for the program in Grand Haven and Spring Lake schools has been on the increase in the past 10 years. In some cases, the number of eligible children has more than doubled from 2003 to the most recent school year.
Peg Panici, director of food services for Spring Lake Public Schools, said the program gives students the chance to eat a healthy and well-balanced meal at breakfast.
“Families can budget their food money for dinner and weekend meals, knowing that their children are receiving a meal at school,” she said.
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