Breakfast and Lunch Program Applications in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, the free school lunch application is combined with the School Breakfast Program application on a single-paper form that is usually handed out at the beginning of each school year. However, parents applying for free school meals in Pennsylvania may register their children at any time during the year by requesting this form. Parents can learn how to complete free school meal applications online provided that their child's institution has set up a web application form. Both of these PA free school meal application forms have similarities in the registration process that will not only secure free school meals for eligible schoolchildren, but will also qualify them for the Summer Food Service Program.
Applying for Free School Meals in Pennsylvania
Whether you intend to complete a National School Lunch Program application (NSLP), a School Breakfast Program application (SBP) or a Summer Food Service Program application (SFSP), there is a single form that must be completed, which will allow your child to participate in any of the three programs. Prospective participants applying for school meal programs in PA should note that they may not need to fully complete either form, as those families receiving benefits under certain welfare programs, such as the Pennsylvania food stamps program, are automatically qualified. This is because the paper form and the Pennsylvania online free school meal application are identical, as they are administered by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Free school meal applications in PA are divided into three general parts: information on the household, information on welfare program participation and information on annual income. The three parts are completed as follows:
List all members of the household.
Every free school lunch application will require a list of people living in the household, which includes infants and children, as well as any students at the selected institution up to and including Grade 12. These children do not need to be direct relatives to be considered a part of the household. The Pennsylvania free school lunch application considers all people 18 years of age or younger that are also supported by the household income or in your care as either a foster, runaway, migrant or homeless youth, to be part of the household.
Identify your participation in other welfare programs.
When parents apply for free school meals in Pennsylvania, applicants will be required to denote any participation in other welfare programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. This section of the NSLP and SBP application will also include Pennsylvania state SNAP or TANF programs as well as some benefits for Native Americans.
Report total annual household income.
For those families wondering how to apply for Summer Food Service Program benefits or other meal programs for breakfast and lunch throughout the year, eligibility will be determined largely by your household size and annual income. Both the SFSP, SBP and NSLP application forms will require this information, which may change with federal decisions. This section of the application will require the combined earnings of all child and adult income brought into the household. This number will be earnings before taxes and will be classified as either Child or Adult when you follow the instructions on the form. Note that this section of the PA free school meal application will serve as a certification that all information is accurate. If there is suspicion that your information on National School Lunch Program application is misleading, your application will be investigated. Additionally, this section will not only capture working income but also income gained through other means. To learn more about income requirements for school meal program applications, download our complimentary guide today.
Once every section of the free school lunch application or other meal form has been completed, it will require an adult's signature and contact information. Contact information for the school lunch and breakfast programs will primarily be a current mailing address, but phone numbers and email addresses are also acceptable from those families without a permanent residence. Applicants should note that the paper application is available in 49 other languages aside from English.
Online Application for Meal Programs in Pennsylvania
It should be noted by all families completing the Pennsylvania free school lunch application or other meal form that although the USDA offers a web-based portal to complete the application, its availability will depend largely on your selected institution. This is because the online free school meals application is an open-source tool that is optionally adopted by eligible Pennsylvania institutions. Therefore, the online school lunch and school breakfast application is not for direct household use. If you are a parent or guardian looking to complete an SBP, SFSP or national school lunch application online, you may be able to do so by contacting your selected institution and inquiring about online means. For more specific information about applying for free school meals in PA, you can download our comprehensive guide.