ISBE Announces Income Eligibility Guidelines for Reduced After-School Meals

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

As students return to classrooms across the state, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is announcing eligibility guidelines for students to receive free and reduced-price lunch, breakfast, and after-school snacks. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), and After-School Care Program are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by ISBE. School districts that participate in the federal lunch program are required to follow a meal pattern consisting of five components: milk; fruits; vegetables; grains; and meat or meat alternates, such as cheese, yogurt, tofu, nuts, and seeds. These guidelines are based on scientific evidence and recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which encourage consuming a variety of foods that are nutritionally balanced and promote health. The MyPlate Guide to School Lunch and MyPlate Guide to School Breakfast highlight how a variety of healthy foods are part of the NSLP and SBP meals. The income guidelines took effect at the start of fiscal year 2024 on July 1, 2023. The USDA sets the policy for each fiscal year to reflect any changes in the federal poverty guidelines. For more information, visit

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