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, 2013 to June 30, 2014)

Household Size Annual Monthly Twice Per Month Every Two Weeks Weekly
1 $21,257 $1,772 $ 886 $ 818 $ 409
2 28,694 2,392 1,196 1,104 552
3 36,131 3,011 1,506 1,390 695
4 43,568 3,631 1,816 1,676 838
5 51,005 4,251 2,126 1,962 981
6 58,442 4,871 2,436 2,248 1,124
7 65,879 5,490 2,745 2,534 1,267
8 73,316 6,110 3,055 2,820 1,410
For each additional member add $  7,437 $ 620 $ 310 $ 287 $ 144

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 

You may call the OFNS at 410-887-7860, if you have questions about your child's(ren's) eligibility determination.  If you do not agree with your child's(ren's) eligibility determination, you may appeal by 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.

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

In accordance with federal law and USDA policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to:  USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll free 866-632-9992. Individuals who are 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 age, ancestry, color, creed, gender identity and expression, genetic information, marital status, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation in matters affecting employment or in providing access to programs.  For inquiries related to departmental policy, please contact:  Equity Assurance and Compliance Branch, Office of the State Superintendent, Maryland State Department of Education, 200 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201-2595 – 410-767-0433 (voice) – 410-767-0431 (fax) – 410-333-6442 (TTY/TD).

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