Food Service » Free & Reduced Price School Meals

Free & Reduced Price School Meals

Federal School Nutrition Programs

The National School Lunch Program supports provides free and reduced priced meals to low-income children before school, during school, after school, and over the summer. Total funding for all nutrition programs sums to $16.3 billion in both cash and commodity payments in fiscal year 2014. School nutrition programs are one of the largest federal funding streams to schools.

In order to have a federally subsidized school lunch program, local school districts must apply to their state department of education for permission. Once the state grants permission, all schools located in the district’s jurisdiction, both public and non-profit private, are eligible to participate.

Students are entitled to free lunches if their families’ incomes are below 130 percent of the annual income poverty level guideline established by the U.S. Department of Health and updated annually by the Census Bureau (currently $24,600 for a family of four). Children who are members of households receiving food stamp benefits or cash assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant, as well as homeless, runaway, and migrant children, also qualify for free meals. Students with family incomes below 185 percent of poverty are eligible for a reduced-price lunch.

Children can be enrolled in the school lunch program by submitting information about their total household incomes online at https://www.schoolcafe.com/ or by downloading and filling out a simple application (see attachment below).  Details on free/reduced meals, answers to frequently asked questions, instructions for applying, and a paper application can be found at the links below.
The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires all School Food Authorities (SFAs) to inform families about the availability and location of free meals for students over the summer months through the Summer Food Service Program

-Call 211
-Call 1.866.3Hungry or 1.877.8Hambre
-Text “MEALPA” to 877877 during the summer months
-Visit the website: www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks (note, this replaces the whyhunger.org website)
-Use the site locator for smartphones - Rangeapp.org
-For additional information about the Summer Food Service Program please contact Mary Ringenberg at [email protected] or 717.783.6501.


Knoch FCCLA Angel Fund
Additionally, at Knoch we are lucky to offer the FCCLA Angel Fund. Because families sometimes face unforeseen crises that make paying for food a struggle, the Knoch High School Family Careers and Community Leaders of America organization established a fund to support such students who do not meet the criteria for Free and Reduced Lunches, but whose families have a short-term need for assistance. Donations to this fund are welcome. Checks can be made to Knoch High School with FCCLA Angel Fund in the memo line and mailed to Knoch High School, FCCLA, 345 Knoch Road, Saxonburg, PA 16056.