Education

More kids will qualify for free meal benefits at childcare centers

Starting July 1, more families will be able to participate in a federal program that helps pay for meals at places like childcare centers.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program is allowing for a slight increase in household income to qualify for free or reduced-price meals, according to an Illinois State Board of Education news release.

The program helps childcare centers, Head Start programs, before- and after-school programs, daycare home providers and emergency shelters offer nutritious meals to the children in their care. It receives funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The release states that all participating childcare centers and daycare homes are required to provide meals to enrolled children at no additional charge. Children enrolled in Head Start or Early Head Start programs at approved Head Start facilities and children who are in foster care also receive free meal benefits.

Children in families that participate in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits. The USDA household income guidelines determine eligibility to receive free meal benefits for families that don’t receive TANF or SNAP benefits.

Lexi Cortes: 618-239-2528, @lexicortes

At a glance

The following are the new income guidelines for children to receive free meals:

Household Size

Annual

Monthly

Twice per month

Every two weeks

Weekly

1

$15,678

$1,307

$654

$603

$302

2

$21,112

$1,760

$880

$812

$406

3

$26,546

$2,213

$1,107

$1,021

$511

4

$31,980

$2,665

$1,333

$1,230

$615

5

$37,414

$3,118

$1,559

$1,439

$720

6

$42,848

$3,571

$1,786

$1,648

$824

7

$48,282

$4,024

$2,012

$1,857

$929

8

$53,716

$4,477

$2,239

$2,066

$1,033

For each additional family member, add

$5,434

$453

$227

$209

$105

At a glance

The following are the new income guidelines for children to receive reduced-price meals:

Household Size

Annual

Monthly

Twice per month

Every two weeks

Weekly

1

$22,311

$1,860

$930

$859

$430

2

$30,044

$2,504

$1,252

$1,156

$578

3

$37,777

$3,149

$1,575

$1,453

$727

4

$45,510

$3,793

$1,897

$1,751

$876

5

$53,243

$4,437

$2,219

$2,048

$1,024

6

$60,976

$5,082

$2,541

$2,346

$1,173

7

$68,709

$5,726

$2,863

$2,643

$1,322

8

$76,442

$6,371

$3,186

$2,941

$1,471

For each additional family member, add

$7,733

$645

$323

$298

$149

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