Free & Reduced Lunch Program Updates

CDE sent out a press release announcing the new free and reduced lunch rates. We’ll post that information below but while we’re at it, we’re going to offer just a bit more information for comparison – the rates that we also published in July 2016. We are grateful to see that Colorado has made slight progress but still believe that NO child, no matter the financial circumstances, should ever be hungry and we are so grateful for this program.

Want to improve student achievement and really make a difference for children? Address poverty!

The following is the Press Release from CDE:

Colorado announces 2017-18 free and reduced price meal income guidelines
DENVER –  The Colorado Department of Education is announcing the policy for free and reduced price meals for children unable to pay the full price served in schools under the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program and/or the Special Milk Program. (A full list of participating schools in Colorado can be found here.) 

Local school officials will use the following household family size and income criteria for determining eligibility for free or reduced price meals:

Household Size   Free Guidelines   Reduced Guidelines
    Yearly   Yearly
1 $15,678 $22,311
2 $21,112 $30,044
3 $26,546 $37,777
4 $31,980 $45,510
5 $37,414 $52,243
6 $42,848 $60,976
7 $48,282 $68,709
8 $53,716 $76,442
For each additional family member add: $5,434 $7,733


For comparison, below is the information from 2016 so you can see that Colorado has made a little progress with the 2017 schedule:

Household Size   Free Guidelines   Reduced Guidelines
    Yearly   Yearly
1 $15,444 $21,978
2 $20,826 $29,637
3 $26,208 $37,296
4 $31,590 $44,955
5 $36,972 $52,614
6 $42,354 $60,273
7 $47,749 $67,951
8 $53,157 $75,647
For each additional family member add: $5,408 $7,696

Applications for free and reduced price school meals, instructions and an informational letter to households are available at your local school and/or district office. Only one application is required for all children in the household. The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining eligibility and verifying data. 

Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year.  If you are not eligible now but have a decrease in income, become unemployed, have an increase in family size, or become eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits or Temporary Assistance for Need Family (TANF, also known as Colorado Works, Basic Cash Assistance or State Diversion) benefits or become categorically eligible, you may fill out an application at that time.

The institution is an equal opportunity provider.

For more information, please visit the Colorado Department of Education’s Nutrition Office’s website about the Free and Reduced Price Lunch Program.