A large group of young students sit at lunch tables in a school cafeteria.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has set the income eligibility guidelines for students and adults to participate in free, reduced-price meal programs through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for 2023-2024. The CACFP is federally funded through the USDA and is administered by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), Division of School and Community Nutrition.

The program provides for nutritious meals and snacks for qualifying participants attending childcare centers, daycare homes, Head Start programs, adult day cares, homeless shelters and afterschool programs. The program also works to establish positive eating habits at the earliest stages of development; reduces future health care and education costs by encouraging proper early development; and provides training and support of local center personnel.

Income Eligibility Guidelines for Free and Reduced-Price Meals are used to determine each participant’s eligibility.

Income Guidelines for Free/Reduced Price Meals Effective July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024

Household SizeFree Meals MonthlyFree Meals YearlyReduced-Price Meals MonthlyReduced-Price Meals Yearly
For each additional family member add:$557$6,682$793$9,509

Children who are eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits. Adult participants who are members of SNAP, FDPIR households, who receive Social Security Income (SSI) or are Medicaid participants, also are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits.

Centers participating in the CACFP agree not to charge a separate fee for meals above the cost of tuition. Independent institutions and sponsoring organizations must enter into agreements with KDE to assume responsibility for CACFP operations. KDE assists institutions and sponsors by providing consultation, training, resources and materials needed to make the program successful.

For more information about the CACFP, contact KDE’s Division of School and Community Nutrition, at (502) 564-5625, or visit KDE’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Homepage.