Student Eligibility & Applications

If you have questions regarding Student Eligibility and Applications, please contact a member of the Child Nutrition staff. 


Web-Based Meal Benefit Application

Maine DOE has extended their partnership with Nutri-Link Technologies, Inc, to provide an online meal benefit application through school year 2022.  There is no cost to Maine public school districts that participate in the federal Child Nutrition Programs.  For more information, email


Direct Certification

The law requires every school district to review the direct certification list at least three times during the school year. The Department suggest at the beginning of each quarter. Direct certification is the FIRST method to approve a student's eligibility with no application or other documentation. When a student submits an application and is on the direct certification list, that application should be filed in a folder of direct certified students/families. Maine currently is below the national benchmark of directly certified students. A report of percent of students directly certified on the list is available on the web. This information is from data submitted by each district to DOE.

Direct Certification Notification Letter 

Free and Reduced Applications

Federal Meal Reimbursement Rates and Eligibility Guidelines -Current and previous years reimbursement rates, eligibility guidelines, and USDA food rates as well as the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.
Eligibility Manual for School Meals -  Determining and Verifying Eligibility
Maine Eligibility Quick Guide
Translated Applications (link to USDA)
Sharing Information Form (optional) 

School Year 2022 Free and Reduced-Price Meals:

Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals SY 2022
Parent Letter for F/R Meals
Parent Letter for Complementary Meals for SY22 and Frequently Asked Questions
Instructions for Completing the SY 2022 Application
Eligibility Notification Letter
Eligibility Notification Letter SSO
Income Guidelines
Maine DOE Meal Benefit Application Promotion Letter (pdf)
Economic Status Promotion Letter for CEP Districts

Resource Materials

Application Collection & Meal Participation Webinar (10:00) (SY22)
Increase Meal participation-Resources for Food Service Directors (pdf)
Manage Your Message-Social Media Templates (Word)
Your Voice Matters! - Graphic for Student Survey (jpg)
Your Voice Matters! - Graphic for Student Survey (pdf)
Student Survey Poster and Template (pdf)
Report on School Meal Participation Survey (pdf)


Special Milk Program 

School Year 2022
Application for Free Milk
Parent Letter for Free Milk
Instructions for Completing the SY2022 Application
Eligibility Notification Letter Special Milk Program



      Verification is a confirmation of a percent of eligibility for free and reduced price applications under the National School Lunch Program or Breakfast Program. It must include either confirmation of income eligibility or confirmation that the child is included in a currently certified food stamp household or TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) unit. At State or local discretion, it may also include confirmation of any other information on the application, which is required as a condition of eligibility.

      SY2022 Verification Training (60:00)

      Verification Quick Reference Guide

      District SFA ID Codes
      FNS 742 Report - Schools
      General requirements
      Verification Notification and Tracking Forms (fillable forms)
      Verification Procedure for Late Reports


      Eligibility Manual for School Meals Federal requirements regarding the determination and verification of eligibility for free and reduced price meals in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. 



        For assistance or questions with verification reports or requirements, contact the Department's Child Nutrition Specialist David Hartley at or 624-6878.