GA DOE Releases Family Income Thresholds for Free & Reduced-Price School Lunches

 The Georgia Department of Education recently announced its policy for free and reduced-price meals for children unable to pay the full price served in schools under the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program. Local school officials have adopted the following family size and income criteria for determining eligibility.

If family income is within
If family income is within
0            to         18,954
0            to         25,636
0            to         32,318
0            to         39,000
0            to         45,682
0            to         52,364
0            to         59,046
0            to         65,728
18,955       to         26,973
25,637       to         36,482
32,319       to         45,991
39,001       to         55,500
45,683       to         65,009
52,365       to         74,518
59,047       to         84,027
65,729       to         93,536
For each additional family member, add $6,682 per year to the income level for free meals and $9,509 to the income level for reduced-price meals.


Children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the following:

  • Children from families whose income is at or below the levels shown in the table above.
  • All children in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
  • Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court. Families with foster children should contact the school for information regarding benefits.
  • Children participating in their school’s Head Start program.
  • Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant. Contact the school for information regarding benefits.

Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Please send in an application.

Application forms are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households should fill out the application and return it to the school. Use one Free and Reduced-Price School Meals Application for all students in your household. The information provided on the application will be used to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time, with each school district required to verify a sample annually. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year. Additional forms are available at each school.

For school officials to determine eligibility, households receiving SNAP or TANF must list the child’s name, their SNAP or TANF case number, and the signature of an adult household member. Households not receiving SNAP or TANF must list the child’s name, names of all household members, the last four digits of the Social Security number of a parent or guardian (or an indication of no Social Security number), the amount of income received by each household member identified by source and frequency, and the signature of an adult household member certifying that the information provided is correct. An application that is not complete cannot be approved.

Under the provisions of this policy, a school official will review applications and determine eligibility. If a household does not agree with the eligibility determination, they may contact the school orally or in writing to request a hearing.

The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used to determine eligibility and verify data. We may inform officials connected with other child nutrition, health, and education programs of the information on your form to determine benefits for those programs or for funding and/or evaluation purposes.

A child’s free or reduced-price eligibility status from the previous year will continue in the same school district for up to 30 operating days in the new school year. If a new application is not approved or the child is not directly certified by this time, meals will be charged at the full price.​

Breakfast CostLunch Cost
 ReducedPaid ReducedPaid
Middle/Junior High$0.00$0.00Middle/Junior High$0.00$0.00

If a household member becomes unemployed or the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below the levels shown above.

For questions or additional help, contact your child’s school.

The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information on this application. You do not have to give the information, but we cannot approve your child for free or reduced-price meals if you do not. You must include the last four digits of the Social Security number of an adult household member. The last four digits of the Social Security number are not required when you apply on behalf of a foster child, or you list a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, or when you indicate that the adult household member signing the application does not have a Social Security number. We will use your information to determine if your child is eligible for free or reduced-price meals and to administer and enforce the lunch and breakfast programs. We MAY share your eligibility information with education, health, and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund, or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews, and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules.

Non-Discrimination Statement: This explains what to do if you believe you have been treated unfairly.

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 at:, 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:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Majority of Georgia’s Regional Commissions See Slight Uptick in Unemployment

Next Story

Among the Worst in Nation: Georgia Ranks Poorly for States to Have a Baby

Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.