Free & Reduced Price Meal Benefits
Meal benefits are available for students whose family income meets requirements. Students approved for meal benefits can receive one breakfast meal and one lunch meal daily. Extra items, such as ala carte items, an extra milk, or milk with lunch from home are not free and the student must have money in their account or cash to purchase these items. If you think you may qualify or are interested in applying for Free or Reduced Price meal benefits, you can fill out an Application for Educational Benefits. Students who qualify for free or reduced meals may also qualify to receive discounted fees for other district expenses such as bussing or activities. All children in the district benefit in areas beyond the lunch program when qualified applications exceed a certain percentage of the district’s enrollment. Families must reapply for free or reduced meals at the beginning of each school year and fill out a consent form. Once received at the District Office, applications will be processed within 10 days. Any charges incurred prior to approval of application are the responsibility of the family.
- Families must reapply for meal benefits at the beginning of each school year.
- Families who receive SNAP benefits may be directly certified to receive free benefits by the state. If you have been directly certified, we will send you a letter notifying you that we have received certification from the state for your benefits. If you do not receive this letter each year, you must reapply.
- Families that receive MFIP benefits will need to submit an application. These applications will need to submit the case number instead of income.
- Free or reduced price lunch application form (English)
- Free or reduced price lunch application form (Español)
- Consent to share information for benefits for other programs form (English)
- Consent to share information for benefits for other programs form (Español)
- Apply for Free & Reduced Meal Benefits Online
Paper applications are also available at each school or the District Office.
Where do I submit my completed application?
You can either bring your application in to your school, the District Office, or mail it to the attention of: Student Nutrition ISD 194 District Office 8670 210th St W Lakeville MN, 55044 We will also accept faxed applications at 952-892-6858.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who can get free or reduced price meals?
- I get WIC. Can my children get free meals?
- Should I fill out an application if I got a letter this school year saying my children were directly certified for free meals based on data from the MN Department of Human Services?
- Will the information I give be checked?
- If I don’t qualify now, may I apply later?
- What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application?
- May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen?
- Who should I include as members of my household?
- What if my income is not always the same?
- How will the information I provide be kept?
- Do I need to notify school officials if my income increases or my household size decreases after I have qualified for free or reduced price meals?
1. Who can get free or reduced price meals?
Children in households participating in Food Stamps, Minnesota Family Investment Plan (MFIP), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) and most foster children can get free meals regardless of your income. Also, your children can get free or reduced-price meals if your household income is within income guidelines for your household size. An Application for Educational Benefits cannot be approved if any required information is missing.
2. I get WIC. Can my children get free meals?
Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please fill out an Application for Educational Benefits.
3. Should I fill out an application if I got a letter this school year saying my children were directly certified for free meals based on data from the MN Department of Human Services?
Do not fill out an Application for Educational Benefits if all of your children have been directly certified for free school meals. If only some of your children were directly certified, you can fill out an Application for Educational Benefits to apply for your children who were not directly certified.
4. Will the information I give be checked?
Yes, we may ask you to send written proof.
5. If I don’t qualify now, may I apply later?
Yes. You may apply at any time during the school year if your income goes down, household size goes up, or if you start getting Food Stamps, MFIP, or FDPIR benefits.
6. What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application?
You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing.
7. May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen?
Yes. You or your children do not have to be U.S. citizens for your children to qualify for free or reduced price meals.
8. Who should I include as members of my household?
You must include yourself and all other people living in the household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends). Include a household member who is temporarily away such as a college student.
9. What if my income is not always the same?
List the amount that you normally get. For example, if you normally get $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only got $900, put down that you get $1000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but not if you get it only sometimes.
10. How will the information I provide be kept?
Information you provide about your household income or public assistance will be protected as private data. Your child’s approval for free or reduced-price meals is also private data. The back page of the Application for Educational Benefits has details about data privacy.
11. Do I need to notify school officials if my income increases or my household size decreases after I have qualified for free or reduced price meals?
No. Approval for free or reduced price meals is good for the school year.
- Julie Wharton, Student Nutrition Support Specialist – 952-232-2061 or Julie.Wharton@isd194.org