While meals at no cost for all students were a welcome relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, federal funding for this program ended in June 2022.
The good news is your students may still qualify for Free or Reduced Price meals in one of several ways:
- Your children attend a CEP School (no application needed)
- Your children receive other benefits like SNAP, TANF, or MEDICAID and you received a letter stating your children qualify for free or reduced-price meals (no application needed)
- You fill out and have an approved meal application on file for this school year (completed after July 2022)
The cost of reduced-price meals is being waived; therefore, students who qualify for reduced-price meals this year will also receive meals at no cost. Families who are not automatically qualified via CEP school or other benefits are encouraged to apply for free or reduced-price meals before the start of the school year so there is no gap in benefits. A new application must be submitted each year. You can find links to the online and paper applications on our website. The online application can be translated into multiple languages, is easy to complete, and is processed quickly. An approved application may also qualify students for additional benefits. Only one application is needed per household.
Families that do not qualify for Free or Reduced Meal Benefits should make sure you can access your (MyPaymentsPlus.com) account. Keep in mind that you can use this tool to add funds when your child needs them and even set up automatic deposits! Your child will need to carry a positive balance in their school meal account to ensure that they have a form of payment available for breakfast and lunch. Funds can also be added for students to purchase snacks, drinks, or extra food.
Stay tuned! As we get closer to the start of the school year, more School Nutrition Services updates will be provided.