School breakfast and lunch

SchoolFood | NYC Department of Education

1. How it Works

Students can get free or low-cost meals through the SchoolFood program. All students can get a free breakfast. Depending on how much your family earns, your student can also get lunch for free or low-cost.

  • Apply online or in person
  • If your child is getting cash assistance, TANF, or SNAP, they are automatically eligible for free lunch
  • If you received the New York State letter titled Eligibility Letter for Free Meals/Milk, return it to your child’s school
  • You do not need any other documents to apply
  • If you do not submit an application, students will pay $1.75 for each lunch meal

More ways to get help with this program

Visit the website

Visit the SchoolFood website to learn more.

Call 311

Ask for SchoolFood assistance.

Call SchoolFood Customer Information

Call 877-363-6325 if you have questions about applying.

2. Determine your eligibility

Eligibility for free lunch is based on how much money your family earns or your child’s circumstances. If you can answer yes to one of these questions, your child might be eligible to receive free lunch:

  • Do you receive Cash Assistance, SNAP, or TANF benefits?
  • Is your child under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency?
  • Is your child homeless or living in a temporary housing situation?

Students who do not return an application and/or are not eligible for a free or reduced-price meal will pay $1.75.

Take a short survey to see if you might be eligible for this or 30 other programs.

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3. How to Apply

3. How to apply

Here are your options.

Apply online

  1. Submit your application online.
  2. If you have more than one child in school, you only need to submit one application. Include all of your children who are in Pre-K through high school in the application.

Apply online

Apply in person

  1. Your child’s school will provide you with a paper application.
  2. Fill in the paper application with all the required details.
  3. Return the completed application to your child’s school.
  4. If you have more than one child in school, you only need to submit one application, and include all children who live with you, in Pre-K through high school.

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More ways to get help with this program

Visit the website

Visit the SchoolFood website to learn more.

Call 311

Ask for SchoolFood assistance.

Call SchoolFood Customer Information

Call 877-363-6325 if you have questions about applying.

Updated December 29, 2017