Child Nutriton

Free & Reduced Price Meal Program

Eligibility Information

Unless a school provides meals to all students at no charge, schools must permit families to apply for free and reduced price meals. Schools must designate an Approving Officer to review and approve applications. Schools must also conduct verification of a sample of approved applications each year.

Current School Meal Free/Reduced Application

School Year 2014-2015 forms are available for printing. The pages are designed to be printed on 8.5 x 11 paper; the meal and milk applications must be printed on white paper. Some pages may be printed front to back. You will need to identify benefits that your school offers such as breakfast and afterschool snacks. The [bold bracketed fields] indicate where you need to insert your school specific data and information.

Required information that must be provided to households includes the letter to households, meal or milk application, the Notice of Direct Certification, and the Notice to Households of Approval/Denial of Benefits. Please see the Vermont Appendix for a complete timeline of activities.


Application Approval and Verification Manuals for 2013-2014
The Vermont Appendix contains a timeline of required activities, letter templates, forms and other tools used during application approval and verification.

The USDA Eligibility Manual August 2013 version was developed by USDA and is more comprehensive than the state agency version, covering a wider variety of topics and issues.


Verification Online Reporting Tool
The Verification Online Reporting Tool allows one School Food Authority designee (one Supervisory Union designee) to calculate the School Food Authority’s number of applications to verify, and to complete and submit required Verification reports. Three reports are required: October 1 number to verify, November 3 number of applications and students, December 1 Verification results.

SFAs on the 2013-2014 Ameliorative Action List had one or more errors in their 2012-2013 Verification Process and are required to attend training


Certification and Benefit Issuance Letters
These are letters that may be used by schools who are reviewed by Child Nutrition Programs and who must complete corrective action by contacting households to notify them of eligibility changes resulting from errors found during an Administrative or Program Review. These sample letters will save lots of time, will facilitate the corrective action process and may save fiscal action penalties for incorrect meal claiming errors by quicker corrective action response periods.


Free to Reduced, Approval Error


Free to No Benefits, Approval Error


Reduced to Free, Approval Error


Reduced to No Benefits, Approval Error


Denied to Free or Reduced, Approval Error


No Application on File, Status Change


Zero income


Incomplete Application


Decreased Benefits, Miscategorized


Increased Benefits, Miscategorized


Student Continuing to Receive Benefits After No Response to Verification


Free and Reduced Eligibility Reports
The agency publishes an annual report showing the number and percent of students eligible for free and reduced price school meals for every school that participates in the National School Lunch Program.

Page Last Updated on July 11, 2014