Attention BPS Parents! 

Back to School means it is once again time to fill out the Boston Public Schools Meal Application.  Applications are used to determine eligibility for free and/or reduced price school meals. 

Applications, information, and instructions are available here in 8 different languages or from your school Cafeteria Manager or Attendant.  Applications are also available in 26 different languages from the USDA website.

School Meal Prices:

Breakfast: full price: $1.50 / reduced price $0.30 / free price: $0.00

Elementary Lunch: full price: $2.25 / reduced price $0.40 / free price: $0.00

Middle and High School Lunch: full price $2.50 / reduced price $0.40 / free price: $0.00

The Application Process:

  • All Parents, regardless of income, should complete a School Meal Application.
  • Meal Applications must be completed on an annual basis, which means even if you completed an application for your child last year, you must complete a new application this year.
  • By law, students may eat using their last year’s status for the first 30 operational days of school (October 20, 2011), or until a new application is submitted and processed.  After October 20th, if a new application has not been submitted, the student status will change to “Paid,” and she/he will have to pay for meals.   

Important Information about School Meal Applications:

  • Only ONE “Family Application for Meal Benefits” application for all children in your household is required.
  • Children in households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP or TAFDC are automatically eligible for free meals regardless of household  income.  Please indicate your SNAP or TAFDC status on the Meal Application form. 
  • Any Foster Child in a household is automatically eligible for free meals, regardless of household income.  Please indicate your child’s foster care status on the Meal Application form.    
  • You may fill out a Meal Application at any time during the school year.  If your income changes or you lose your job, please fill out another application – your child may become eligible for free meals!
  • School Meal Applications are completely confidential.
  • New federal guidelines require only the last 4 digits of your social security number for the School Meal Application.  If you do not have a social security number, or you and/or your children are not US citizens, you should still fill out a School Meal Application – your children can be eligible for free and reduced price school meals regardless.    

Why Complete a Meal Application?

Meal Applications, in addition to facilitating free meals for children from low-income families, provide a myriad of benefits to children, schools, and communities:

  • Students perform better academically when they have eaten a healthy breakfast and lunch.
  • Schools qualify for funding from Title I and eRate when students who qualify for free and reduced cost meals complete applications.
  • Schools receive state funding based on information in the School Meal Applications.  This includes money for books, classroom furniture, school supplies, educational resources, and grant programs such as the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
  • Students can qualify for reduced price AP (Advanced Placement) and SAT testing.
  • Students can qualify for free after school programs.
  • Teachers may have their student loans waived if the work for a high free and reduced school. 


Contact the Department of Food and Nutrition Services at 617-635-9144, 6371, or 6372.