Office of Food and Nutrition Services
Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program

Overview  

The Baltimore County Public Schools serve meals each school day, which may be purchased at the published school prices.  For those who qualify, meals are also available free or at a reduced price. The reduced price is $.40 for lunch and $.30 for breakfast. All meals served meet nutrition standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

Qualifications
  • Most children in households that receive Food Supplement Program (FSP – formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) benefits or temporary cash assistance (TCA) are eligible to receive free meals.
  • Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. 
  • Foster children who are the legal responsibility of the Department of Social Services or court are eligible to receive free meals.
  • Children certified as homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible to receive free meals. 
  • If your total household income is the same or less than the amounts on the Income Eligibility Chart below, your child(ren) are eligible to receive free or reduced price meals

Income Eligibility Chart

(Effective July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015)

Household Size Annual Monthly Twice Per Month Every Two Weeks Weekly
1 $21,590 $1,800 $ 900 $ 831 $ 416
2   29,101   2,426  1,213  1,120   560
3   36,612   3,051  1,526 1,409   705
4   44,123   3,677  1,839 1,698   849
5   51,634   4,303  2,152 1,986   993
6   59,145   4,929  2,465 2,275 1,138
7   66,656   5,555  2,778 2,564 1,282
8   74,167   6,181  3,091 2,853 1,427
For each additional member add $  7,511 $ 626  $ 313 $ 289 $ 145

How To Apply

To apply online for free or reduced price meal benefits click here.

To obtain a hardcopy of the Household Meal Benefit Application (HMBA), contact your child's school or call the Office of Food and Nutrition Services (OFNS) at 410-887-7860.

The hardcopy HMBA has both a front and back page, both pages are required for processing. Once you complete the HMBA, return it to your youngest child's school. The school office will forward all completed applications to the OFNS for processing.

To view/download instructions for completing a hardcopy of the HMBA, as well as, a Parent/Guardian Question and Answer letter regarding the meal application process, click here.

A Notification of Eligibility Determination letter will be mailed to your home address notifying you of the eligibility status of your child(ren).

Translations

HMBAs are available in Spanish or Chinese. Please call OFNS at 410-887-7860 to obtain a copy.

Verification 

Your child's(ren's) eligibility may be verified at any time during the school year.  School officials may request you to send papers confirming that your child(ren) should receive free or reduced price meals.

Appeal 

Call the OFNS at 410-887-7860, if you have questions or disagree with your child's(ren's) eligibility determination.  If a determination cannot be resolved with the OFNS, you may proceed by appealing the decision in writing to:  Ms. Barbara S. Burnopp, executive director, Division of Business Services, Department of Fiscal Services, Baltimore County Public Schools, Greenwood Building E, 6901 Charles Street, Towson, MD 21204.

Duration of Eligibility

Your child's(ren's) eligibility is in effect from the date of eligibility for the current school year and for up to 30 operating days in the subsequent school year.  However, this does not apply when the initial eligibility determination was incorrect or when verification of household eligibility does not support the level of benefits for which the household was approved. 

Confidentiality 

School officials will use the information on the application to determine eligibility of your child(ren).  Please be advised that the name and eligibility status of your child(ren) may be:

  • Given to local Title I officials for allocation and evaluation purposes.
  • Used for the National Assessment of Educational Progress analyses or other authorized purposes.
  • Given to other federal and state education or state health programs.

No other use of this information is permitted without parental consent.

Reapplication 

You may apply for free and reduced price meals at any time during the school year.  If you are not eligible now but have a change such as a decrease in household income, an increase in household size, become unemployed, or receive FSP or TCA for your children, you may fill out an application at that time.

Non-Discrimination Statement

The U.S Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html or at any USDA office, or call
866-632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax 202-690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

Individuals who are deaf, hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339; or 800-845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

The Maryland State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, disability, or sexual orientation in matters affecting employment or in providing access to programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. For inquiries related to department policy, please contact the Agency Equity Officer, Equity Assurance and Compliance Office, Office of the Deputy State Superintendent for Finance and Administration, Maryland State Department of Education, 200 W. Baltimore Street – 6thFloor, Baltimore, Maryland 21201-2595 or 410-767-0433 (voice) 410-767-0431 (fax) 410-333-6442 (TTY/TDD). 

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