ISBE Announces Free and Reduced-Price Meals Eligibility Guidelines

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced the eligibility guidelines for students to receive free and reduced-price lunch, breakfast, and after-school snacks through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. The policy took effect at the start of fiscal year 2021 on July 1, 2020. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets the policy for each fiscal year to reflect any changes in the federal poverty guidelines. The National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program are funded by the USDA and administered by ISBE. The USDA extended several nationwide waivers through the end of the 2020-21 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These waivers give key flexibilities to school districts so they can provide meals to students with appropriate safety measures. The waivers allow for the establishment of grab-and-go meal sites, serving meals for multiple days at one time, delivery, and for parents and guardians to pick up meals on behalf of their students. More information on waivers to ensure safe distribution of meals can be found at

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