Assistance with the cost of meals

There are many families in the community that qualify for free or reduced price school meals, but may not be receiving these financial benefits.

Children in households that receive SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), TANF or FDPIR, and most foster children, can receive free meals by completing a program application. We treat your student's participation in the free or reduced price meals program as highly confidential. Any family who qualifies (by income) can receive free or reduced priced meals. During the 2014-15 school year for example, a household of four with an annual income of $42,643 or less will qualify for reduced price meals at a cost of 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch. 

Even if you do not wish to have your child participate in the free or reduced price meals program, we encourage you to complete and submit an application as this can benefit the district through at-risk funding. If your income changes, at any time, you are welcome to re-apply for free or reduced price meals. If your student is approved for free or reduced price meals, we encourage you and your family to take advantage of this valuable benefit, which helps stretch your family budget.

The free and reduced price meal applications are mailed to every student household in the MCPS district in August of each year, but you may apply at anytime during the school year. We encourage families completing the application to try our new online application as the process reduces the potential for errors on the application and therefore reduces processing time.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Applications for this program must be completed every school year. If your student was approved for free and reduced meals in our school district last year, we automatically extend the free and reduced status for the first thirty operating days of the next school year. You must re-apply within those thirty days to continue receiving benefits.


Student information related to this program is highly confidential. All students eating school meals receive the same lunch cards, meals, etc. Students on the program will not be identified as they gather their meals and go through the lunch line.

Again, to learn more about this program or to complete an application online, click here. You may also download and/or print an application (pdf format) and return it to your child's school.