August 4, 2023

Michigan Children Win With Healthy School Meals for All

Michigan Department of Education Press Release LANSING – Michigan’s 1.4 million public school children will be receiving nutritious free meals at school this year as a result of a $160 million appropriation in the state’s School Aid budget adopted by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. 

Michigan School Meals will begin at the start of the 2023-24 school year to provide state reimbursement to schools for every breakfast and lunch served to Michigan’s public school students who receive meals through their school’s participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.  

“This is a win for Michigan’s public school children,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “The Michigan School Meals program is an investment that gives our children the opportunity to focus on learning and a healthier future rather than worrying about their next meal.” 

This unprecedented investment in students supports Goal 3 of Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan, to improve the health, safety, and wellness of all learners. In addition to meals provided free of charge, the meals follow USDA nutrition guidelines.  

For every district that chooses to participate, students in pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 will receive one breakfast and one lunch per student, free of charge. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) encourages all eligible districts to participate and is preparing to support districts with program implementation.

Although families won’t have to pay for meals, they must complete forms at their local school to determine eligibility for other educational programs. MDE encourages parents/guardians to watch for those forms in their school enrollment packets and back-to-school information later this summer. Completed forms help districts with accessing additional health and wellness services, before- and after-school academic and enrichment programs, and guidance and college counselors, as well as fee waivers for various tests and applications.

More information can be found at the Michigan School Meals website, and questions regarding the program may be directed to