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New Income Eligibility Guidelines Announced for Child and Adult Care Food Program

BALTIMORE – The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has announced revised Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEG) for free and reduced-price meals in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The guidelines are set by the federal government and adopted by the MSDE. The guidelines are used in the process of establishing reimbursement for agencies and facilities participating in the CACFP for the period July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

Foster children and children who are members of a household receiving Food Supplement Program (FSP) or Temporary Cash Assistance benefits or are a Head Start program participant are automatically eligible in the free meal category. Adult participants who are members of FSP households or who are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid participants are also automatically eligible in the free meal category.

Agencies and facilities participating in the CACFP may include: child care centers, emergency shelters, at-risk afterschool care centers, family child care homes and sponsors, and adult day care centers. Meals served must meet nutrition requirements set by the USDA. Participating agencies and facilities provide meals at no separate charge to all participants without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. The CACFP is administered in Maryland by the MSDE and by the USDA on a federal level. For additional information regarding the Child Nutrition Programs operating in Maryland please visit MSDE’s web site at . Individuals who want more information concerning agencies or facilities that participate in one of the Child Nutrition Programs should call 410-767-0219.

The USDA’s annual adjustments to the IEGs are required by Section 9 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. Guidelines are revised annually to account for changes in the Consumer Price Index. The IEGs were established by multiplying the 2017 federal income poverty guidelines by 130 percent to determine the household income levels for free meal eligibility and by 185 percent for the reduced-price meal eligibility income levels. The income levels are rounded upward to the next whole dollar.

Income Eligibility Guidelines
(Effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018)

Household Size Free Meals Reduced-Price Meals
Year Month Week Year Month Week
1 $15,678 $1,307 $302 $22,311 $1,860 $430
2 21,112 1,760 406 30,044 2,504 578
3 26,546 2,213 511 37,777 3,149 727
4 31,980 2,665 615 45,510 3,793 876
5 37,414 3,118 720 53,243 4,437 1,024
6 42,848 3,571 824 60,976 5,082 1,173
7 48,282 4,024 929 68,709 5,726 1,322
8 53,716 4,477 1,033 76,442 6,371 1,471

For each additional family member add…
$5,434 $453 $ 105 $7,733 $645 $149
MSDE and USDA are equal opportunity providers.