Free and Reduced Meal Program

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946.

The Free and Reduced Application is available now online!

You can complete and submit the application online! Click on the icon below to complete the application today.

Schoolcafe badge

To fill out a Fee Waiver form, please click here

This must be filled out if you would like the option to have your required fees waived.

There are 2 ways to submit!
1. Online from a computer at
2. Download the SchoolCafe by PrimeroEdge app for your smartphone * Schoolcafe app logo
*We recommend the phone app as the app also allows you to see your child(ren)’s meal purchases, set low balance alerts and set spending limits. You can also see instantly what your child(ren)’s meal eligibility is. After submitting, click on Eligibility Info on the left panel.

A few items you will need to help make the process easier:
1. Your child(ren)’s name and date of birth, school ID number, and the school they will be attending this year.
2. You must register for SchoolCafe. The Step by Step instructions can be found here in English and Spanish.
3. The Step by Step instructions for completing the application can be found here in English and Spanish.

Need a different language translation of the application? Click here to find 49 translations.

Free and Reduced Guidelines

If your total household income is within the limits listed in the table below, your children may be eligible for either free or reduced-price school meals. If your child/children qualify for free or reduced-price meals, you may also be eligible for food assistance benefits from the State of Iowa, Department of Human Services (DHS).

Once your application has been received by the Nutrition Services department, please allow up to 10 business days for approval of the application. A confirmation letter of approval or denial will be emailed or mailed once the application has been reviewed.

For more information, please contact Cassie Mayrose at 515-457-6911.

Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines for School Year 2020-2021

Household Size Yearly Monthly Twice Each Month Every Two Weeks Weekly
1 23,606 1,968 984 908 454
2 31,894 2,607 1,329 1,227 614
3 40,182 2,658 1,675 1,546 773
4 48,470 4,040 2,020 1,865 933
5 56,758 4,730 2,365 2,183 1,092
6 65,046 5,421 2,711 2,502 1,251
7 73,334 6,112 3,056 2,821 1,411
8 81,622 6,802 3,401 3,140 1,570
Each additional person 8,288 691 346 319 160

Privacy Act Statement: This explains how we will use the information you give us.

The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information on this application. You do not have to give the information, but if you do not, we cannot approve your child for free or reduced price meals.  You must include the last four digits of the social security number of the adult household member who signs the application.  The last four digits of the social security number is not required when you apply on behalf of a foster child or you list a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) case number or other FDPIR identifier for your child or when you indicate that the adult household member signing the application does not have a social security number.  We will use your information to determine if your child is eligible for free or reduced price meals and for administration and enforcement of the lunch and breakfast programs. We MAY share your eligibility information with education, health, and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund, or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews, and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules.


USDA and Iowa Non-Discrimination Statements

USDA and Iowa Non-Discrimination Statements
U.S. Department of Agriculture (website)