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Income Eligibility Guidelines for Free and Reduced-Price Meals or Free Milk in Child Nutrition Programs

Household is synonymous with family and means a group of related or unrelated individuals who are not residents of an institution or boarding house, but who are living as one economic unit sharing housing and all significant income and expenses. This scale does not apply to households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits—known as CalFresh in California, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits, or children who are recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families—known as CalWORKs in California. Those children are automatically eligible for free meal benefits.
In the Adult Care Component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program, a household includes the adult participant and, if residing with the participant, the spouse as well as any persons who are economically dependent on the adult participant. This scale does not apply to members of SNAP households, or recipients of Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid (known as Medi-Cal in California), or FDPIR benefits. Those participants are automatically eligible for free meals.
Effective July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024, participants from households with incomes at or below the following levels may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals or free milk.
Note: The new income calculations are based on annual figures and the following formulas: Monthly = annual income divided by 12; Twice Per Month = annual income divided by 24; Every Two Weeks = annual income divided by 26; and Weekly = annual income divided by 52. All dollar amounts are rounded up to the next whole dollar.