September 04, 2012

DHSS Announces Annual Federal Income Guidelines for Free and Reduced-Price Meals

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, in accordance with USDA Federal Guidelines, has established the annual income guidelines for free and reduced-price meals for individuals enrolled in child and adult day care programs in Missouri. Participants must meet the new income guidelines to qualify for the free and reduced-price meals.The income guidelines are used to determine eligibility for free and reduced-price meals at:

  • Child care facilities and family child care homes that serve meals to children from birth through 12 years of age;
  • After-school programs and family emergency shelters that provide meals to school-age children;
  • Adult day care programs.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program is 100% federally funded and the facilities are reimbursed for meals provided to participants who meet the income guidelines. More than 3,000 facilities in Missouri participate in the program every year. Approximately $52 million will be paid to participating facilities in Missouri in 2013.

Participants must meet one of the following guidelines:

  • The family's income must be at or below 185 % of the federal poverty level. Specific income guidelines for July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013 can be found at

  • The household must receive benefits through Temporary Assistance or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • If the participant is enrolled in an adult care facility, they must also receive assistance through Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Application forms for free or reduced-price meals can be obtained at a participating facility. Individuals can contact their child or adult day care facility or a family day care home sponsor in their area to find out whether it participates in the program.

Child and adult day care facilities interested in participating in the program can contact the health department's Bureau of Community Food and Nutrition Assistance toll-free at 800-733-6251. This announcement is in accordance with USDA Federal Guidelines for the Child and Adult Care Food Program.