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

A review of traditional NSLP (15:00) 3/3/22
A review of traditional NSLP (pdf)

SY2024 Severe Need Guidance

Direct Certification

Direct certification is a process conducted by the states and by local educational agencies (LEAs) to certify eligible children for free meals without the need for household applications.

For Child Nutrition Purposes:

Child Nutrition regulations require 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 already captured on the direct certification list, that application should be kept on file in a folder of direct certified students/families. 


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.

Translated Applications (link to USDA)
Sharing Information Form (optional) 

School Year 2024 Public School that are Non-Pricing

Parent Letter for F/R Meals (for Public Schools)
2024 Meal Benefit Application and Instructions
Eligibility Notification Letter (for Public Schools)
Direct Certification Eligibility Notification Letter

School Year 2024 Private Schools that are Charging for  Meals

Parent Letter for F/R Meals (for Private Schools)
2024 Meal Benefit Application and Instructions
Eligibility Notification Letter (for Private Schools)
Direct Certification Eligibility Notification Letter


Special Milk Program 

School Year 2024

Application for Free Milk
Parent Letter for Free Milk
Instructions for completing the SY2024 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.

      SY2024 Verification Training 
      SY2024 Verification Training (pdf)

      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 -  Determining and Verifying Eligibility 
      Maine Eligibility Quick Guide