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Free and reduced price school meals

It's a fact: Children need healthy meals to learn. Guilderland Central School District offers healthy meals every school day. Elementary students may buy lunch for $2.80 and elementary and middle school students may buy breakfast for $1.95. High school and middle school students may buy lunch for $3.05.

Children from households that meet Federal income guidelines are eligible for free  meals or reduced price meals. Reduced price meals cost each eligible student .25¢ for lunch and .25¢ for breakfast.

To apply for free or reduced price meals, complete the application available at right, sign it, and return it to the school as soon as possible. Please refer to the guidelines contained within the application letter when completing the form.
We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information.

Review the reduced-price meal eligibility fact sheet
for helpful hints when filling out the application
Click here


Frequently asked questions

Q. Do I need to fill out an application for each child?
A. No. Complete the application to apply for free or reduced price meals. Do not fill out more than one application for your household.

Q. Who can get free meals?
A. Children in households getting Food Stamps or TANF and foster children can get free meals regardless of your income. Also, your children can get free price meals if your household income is within the free limits on the Federal Income Guidelines. Each foster child must be listed on a separate application, with Part 2 completed and include an adult signature.

Q. Can homeless, runaway and migrant children get free meals?
A. Please call Administrator for Special Services Steve Hadden at 518-456-6010, ext. 3097 to see if your child(ren) qualify, if you have not been informed that they will get free meals.

Q. Who can get reduced price meals?
A. Your children can get low cost meals if your household income is within the reduced price limits on the Federal Income Chart, shown on this application.

Q. Should I fill out an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are approved for free or reduced price meals?
A. Please read the letter you received carefully and follow the instructions. Call the school at 518-456-6200, ext. 3110, if you have questions.

Q. I get WIC, can my child(ren) get free meals?
A. Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals, but an applications must be completed.

Q. Will the information I give be checked?
A. The school may ask you during the school year to verify your eligibility. You will be notified, in writing, if you have been selected for verification. School officials will ask you to send papers confirming the income you provided on the application.

Q. If I don’t qualify now, may I apply later?
A. Yes. You may apply at any time during the school year if your household size goes up, income goes down, or if you start receiving Food Stamps or TANF.

Q. What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application?
A. You should talk to the food services director, Linda Mossop, or the assistant superintendent for business, Neil Sanders. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to: Neil Sanders, 8 School Road, P.O. Box 18, Guilderland Center, NY 12085 (518-456-6200).

Q. May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen?
A. Yes. You or your child(ren) do not have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for free or reduced price meals.

Q. Who should I include as members of my household?
A. You must include all people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends). You must include yourself and all children who live with you.

Q. What if my income is not always the same?
A. List the amount that you normally get. For example, if you normally get $1,000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only got $900, put down that you get $1,000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but not if you get it only sometimes.

How to apply

To get free or reduced price meals for your children you may be directly certified by NYS, OR carefully complete the online application for your household and return it to the school. If you now receive food stamps or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) for any children, the application must include the children’s names, the household food stamp, TANF number and the signature of an adult household member. All children with the same case number may be listed on the same application. Separate applications are required for children with different case numbers. If you do not list a food stamp, TANF or FDPIR number for all the children for whom you are applying, the application must include the names of everyone in the household, the amount of income for each household member, and how often it is received and where it comes from. It must include the signature of an adult household member and that adult’s social security number, or the word “none” if the adult does not have a social security number. An application that is not complete cannot be approved.

Reporting Changes

The benefit that you are approved for at the time of application are effective for the entire school year. You no longer need to report changes for an increase in income or decrease in household size, or if you no longer receive food stamps.

Nondiscrimination Statement
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
• Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
• Email:
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Meal Service to Children With Disabilities

Federal regulations require schools and institutions to serve meals at no extra charge to children with a disability which may restrict their diet. A student with a disability is defined in 7CFR Part 15b.3 of Federal regulations, as one who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Major life activities are defined to include functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. You must request the special meals from the school and provide the school with medical certification from a medical doctor. If you believe your child needs substitutions because of a disability, please get in touch with us for further information, as there is specific information that the medical certification must contain.


The United States Department of Agriculture has approved the release of students’ names and eligibility status, without parent/guardian consent, to persons directly connected with the administration or enforcement of federal education programs such as Title I and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which are United States Department of Education programs used to determine areas such as the allocation of funds to schools, to evaluate socioeconomic status of the school’s attendance area, and to assess educational progress. Information may also be released to State health or State education programs administered by the State agency or local education agency, provided the State or local education agency administers the program, and federal, State or local nutrition programs similar to the National School Lunch Program. Additionally, all information contained in the free and reduced price application may be released to persons directly connected with the administration or enforcement of programs authorized under the National School Lunch Act (NSLA) or Child Nutrition Act (CNA); including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, the Special Milk Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC); the Comptroller General of the United States for audit purposes, and federal, State or local law enforcement officials investigating alleged violation of the programs under the NSLA or CNA.

The disclosure of eligibility information not specifically authorized by the NSLA requires a written consent statement from the parent/guardian.

We will let you know when your application is approved or denied.