BALTIMORE – The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has announced revised Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs) for free and reduced-price school meals. The guidelines are set by the federal government and adopted by MSDE. These guidelines are used to determine eligibility for free or reduced-price meals in the child nutrition programs for the period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.

Children enrolled in a Head Start program or children who are certified as homeless, migrant, runaway, foster, or children living in households that receive Food Supplement Program (FSP) or Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) benefits are eligible for free meals. Some FSP and TCA households will receive a letter from their school informing them that their children are eligible for free meals. FSP and TCA households that do not receive a letter by the beginning of the school year should fill out an application. Parents and guardians from households that do not qualify for any of the programs mentioned above should also complete an application.

United States citizenship is not required in order to obtain eligibility for free or reduced-price meals.

Learn more about the eligibility changes at