Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Income Eligibility Scales for 2015-16

Income eligibility guidelines for free and reduced-price meals or free milk in Child Nutrition Programs.

Income Eligibility Guidelines
for Free and Reduced-Price Meals or Free Milk
in Child Nutrition Programs

Effective July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, participants from households with incomes at or below the following levels may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals or free milk.

Note: The new income calculations are based on annual figures and the following formulas: Monthly = annual income divided by 12; Twice Per Month = annual income divided by 24; Every Two Weeks = annual income divided by 26; and Weekly = annual income divided by 52. All dollar amounts are rounded up to the next whole dollar.

Free Eligibility Scale
Meals, Snacks, and Milk

Household Size Annual Monthly Twice Per Month Every Two Weeks Weekly

1

$ 15,301

$ 1,276

$   638

$  589

$  295

2

20,709

1,726

863

797

399

3

26,117

2,177

1,089

1,005

503

4

31,525

2,628

1,314

1,213

607

5

36,933

3,078

1,539

1,421

711

6

42,341

3,529

1,765

1,629

815

7

47,749

3,980

1,990

1,837

919

8

53,157

4,430

2,215

2,045

1,023

For each additional family member, add:

$  5,408

$    451

$    226

$   208

$    104

Reduced-Price Eligibility Scale
Meals and Snacks

Household Size Annual Monthly Twice Per Month Every Two Weeks Weekly

1

$ 21,775

$ 1,815

$   908

$   838

$  419

2

29,471

2,456

1,228

1,134

567

3

37,167

3,098

1,549

1,430

715

4

44,863

3,739

1,870

1,726

863

5

52,559

4,380

2,190

2,022

1,011

6

60,255

5,022

2,511

2,318

1,159

7

67,951

5,663

2,832

2,614

1,307

8

75,647

6,304

3,152

2,910

1,455

For each additional family member, add:

$  7,696

$    642

$    321

$   296

$   148

  • Household is synonymous with family and means a group of related or unrelated individuals who are not residents of an institution or boarding house, but who are living as one economic unit sharing housing and all significant income and expenses. This scale does not apply to households that receive CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps), Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-Gap), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits, or children who are recipients of California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Program (CalWORKs). Those children are automatically eligible for free meal benefits.
  • In the Adult Care Component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program, a household includes the adult participant and, if residing with the participant, the spouse as well as any persons who are economically dependent on the adult participant. This scale does not apply to members of CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps) households, or recipients of Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid/Medi-Cal, or FDPIR benefits. Those participants are automatically eligible for free meals.
Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Recently Posted in Nutrition

  • DCH Meal Benefit Form for Providers (DOC) (added 06-Mar-2017)
    Day care home provider application for Tier I reimbursement and/or claiming meals served to children living in the provider's household.
  • Prior Approval for CACFP Allowable Costs (added 27-Feb-2017)
    Management Bulletin CACFP-03-2017: Prior Approval for Child and Adult Care Food Program Allowable Costs.
  • CNIPS Training Registration (added 14-Feb-2017)
    Information about CDE-sponsored courses, training locations, and registrations are available on the CNIPS Training Registration Web page. This Web page is accessed from the CNIPS Home Page by selecting the Training Registration link.
  • Food Service Management Company Rebids 2017-18 (added 14-Feb-2017)
    School Food Authorities required to rebid Food Service Management Company contracts for School Year 2017-18.
  • Two-cent Differential Reimbursement for New SFAs (added 30-Jan-2017)
    MB SNP-04-2017, USDA Policy Memo SP 30-2014: Determining Eligibility for Two-cent Differential Reimbursement and SP 23-2005: Eligibility for Severe Need Rates for the School Breakfast Program.