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Office of P-20 Education Policy
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

School Food Service Directors/Managers
Frances N. O'Donnell, Coordinator
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Universal Pre-K Programs (UPK)-Not Eligible for Automatic Eligibility for Free Meal Benefits

Section 3602-e of Education Law defines an "eligible child" for UPK programs as a child who resides within a UPK participating school district who is four years of age on or before December 1st or otherwise eligible to attend kindergarten the following school year.

UPK is a voluntary program open to all four year olds as defined above in the district. No preference can be given to children who are from families that are disadvantaged. Children must be selected on a random basis when there are more children that can be served in a given year.

Consequently, since children in these programs are not primarily from families with household incomes at or below poverty, UPK programs are not automatically eligible for free meal benefits. Children with direct certification letters or approved income applications on file would be eligible for free or reduced price benefits.

Do not hesitate to call 518-473-8781 if you have questions on UPK eligibility.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.