More students will receive free meals this school year as part of a provision to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP). The federally assisted meal programs provide nutritionally balanced free, low-cost, or full-price meals to schoolchildren. In the past, children from households that received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) automatically qualified for free meals.
Under the new provision, children from households that receive SNAP or Medicaid will qualify for free meals. If a member of the household is eligible for SNAP or Medicaid, all children in that household are eligible for meals at no charge and no application is required. Parents do have a right to refuse these benefits.