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Special Milk Program for Illinois

  • Listed: January 20, 2019 4:38 pm
  • Expires: 997990 days, 4 hours


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Program Description

The Special Milk Program is a federally funded program administered in Illinois by the Illinois State Board of Education. The Special Milk Program provides reimbursement for milk served to children in schools, childcare institutions, and eligible camps that do not participate in other Federal child nutrition meal service programs. Schools that participate in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs can participate in the Special Milk Program for half-day kindergarten and pre-kindergarten children who do not have access to a school meals program. The program reimburses schools and institutions for the milk they serve.

There are two program options from which sponsors may choose:

Paid Milk – In the paid milk option, all students are charged for the cost of providing milk minus the Federal reimbursement. Household income applications are not required.

Free Milk – The free milk option provides milk free of charge to students who are determined eligible, based on the household income guidelines. Children who do not meet the household income requirements may purchase milk if participating in a pricing program.

Program Requirements

Any child in a school or institution that participates in the Special Milk Program can get milk. Schools may elect to offer free milk to low-income children. In order to qualify for this benefit program, your child must be enrolled in a school or institution that participates in this program and be a resident of the state of Illinois.

In order to qualify, you must have an annual household income (before taxes) that is below the following amounts:

Household Size* Maximum Income Level (Per Year)
1 $22,459
2 $30,451
3 $38,443
4 $46,435
5 $54,427
6 $62,419
7 $70,411
8 $78,403

*For households with more than eight people, add $7,992 per additional person. Always check with the appropriate managing agency to ensure the most accurate guidelines.

Application Process

To apply for the Special Milk Program, directly contact your child’s school, camp, or child care institution to find out if it participates in the Special Milk Program.

The Federal agency, Child Nutrition Programs, manages this program and provides state contact information on the on the School Meals Contact page.

Additionally, your state education agency can also provide you with more information about the program.

Contact Information

To learn more about the Special Milk Program (SMP), please call the Illinois State Board of Education, Nutrition Programs Division at:


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