Free School Breakfast Program

The School Breakfast Program is a federal program that helps children get free breakfast at school. Contact your school or school district to learn if they participate in the school breakfast program.

Facts about the School Breakfast Program

  • The School Breakfast Program started in 1966.

  • 10.7 million children received free or reduced-price school breakfast in 2020.
  • 100,000 public and non-profit private schools offer free school meals.

How the School Breakfast Program works

School districts and schools can choose to participate in the School Breakfast program. Participating schools offer healthy breakfasts to eligible children for free or reduced-priced. In addition, schools receive cash reimbursement from the United States Department of Agriculture for every meal they serve.

Eligibility for school breakfast

If your school offers free breakfast, You may qualify if your family:

  • has a low income
  • participates in SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), TANF, WIC, or Head Start
  • is considered a foster family, migrant or homeless

Certain schools can offer universal breakfast to all students regardless of family income, also called universal breakfast.

How to apply

Ask your school for a school meal application. Applications are usually sent home at the beginning of the school year. But you can apply at any time. Someone at your school or the school district will review your application and determine if you’re eligible.

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