The Maryland State Department of Education announced revised Income Eligibility Guidelines for free and reduced-price school meals and for free milk. The guidelines are set by the federal government and adopted by the Maryland State Department of Education for school students across the state. They are effective from July 1 through June 30, 2004.
Household size and income determine eligibility. For example, a child from a family of four will be entitled to a free lunch and, where available, free breakfast and/or free milk if the household's current annual income is below $23,920. If that same family's income is between $23,920 and $34,040, the child will pay 40 cents for a reduced-price lunch and 30 cents for a reduced-price breakfast.
These guidelines are used by schools, institutions and day care centers participating in the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Special Milk Program, the Summer Food Service Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. With the exception of split-session pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs that do not have access to meals, schools that participate in federally funded meal program such as the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program do not receive subsidy for one-half pints of milk. Separate servings of milk will be available free to eligible kindergarten and pre-kindergarten students in schools that participate in the Special Milk Program and that have elected the free milk option.