DOVER — K-12 schools will have the option to continue offering free meals during the 2021-22 year, the Delaware Department of Education announced Wednesday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service released a group of waivers and guidelines allowing schools to offer meals without determining eligibility based on household incomes.
Participating schools can operate under the Seamless Summer Option and will receive a higher federal reimbursement rate per meal.
Schools that elect not to serve free meals through SSO will determine eligibility for free and reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program using income guidelines. The income eligibility guidelines for the 2021-22 year have been released by the USDA.
This year’s eligibility guidelines went into effect July 1. They allow schools and other institutions to determine eligibility for NSLP, the School Breakfast Program, the Special Milk Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program and the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer initiative.
To apply, households already receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families must include their SNAP or TANF case number on their applications if not notified of their automatic eligibility by the school.
Households enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children may qualify for free or reduced-price school meals and should complete a household meal benefit application.
Contact your district’s school nutrition program for further information.