Free and Reduced School Lunches is a federal program that provides free and reduced price lunches to students in public and nonprofit private K-12 schools across the country. The free and reduced school lunch program was established under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act in 1946 under President Harry Truman 2. There is a variety of ways to eligible for the free and reduced program. To qualify for the free lunch program include being homeless, migrant, runaway and foster child. The reduced lunch program can be based on household income and family size 2. The money is distributed on the state level, then goes to the school district based on their needs.

For Menomonie Public Schools, a new application is available every August of each school year, and application must be on file every year. Also, if family income or size changes at any time throughout the year, families can apply for these benefits, which are based on a set of income standards established by agencies that govern the Child Nutrition Programs 1.

Comparing Menomonie schools to another district and nationwide:

Menomonie: Families who qualify for the reduced lunch will pay $0.30 for breakfast at Menomonie High School, breakfast is free for all K-8 students and $0.40 for lunch at all schools1.

Nationwide: In 2016, 30.4 million children were on the program for free or reduced lunches. Lunches cannot be more than $0.40 cents 2.

District 196- Glaciers Hills Elementary school: there is a total of 500 students and about a third of the students are on free and reduced lunches. In the past few years the number of students needing assistance for school lunches has increased. A normal school lunch is about $2.50 and if a student has a reduced lunch, the price would be $0.40 cents. When applying for free and reduced lunch, there is a question that the family has to answer and depending on the answer they fall under a category to receive either free or a reduced lunch 3.




1. School District of Menomonie Area. (2017). Free/Reduced Programs. Retrieved from

2. The National School Lunch Program (Fact Sheet). (2017, November). Retrieved from

3. Bork, L. (personal communication, 6 December 2017).

4. S. Rep. No. 67 at 17184 (2017). Retrieved from