Free & Reduced

YOU may apply for free/reduced benefits anytime during the school year.

Media Release for Free/Reduced Meals

Letter to Households - Free/Reduced Information

A new free/reduced meal application must be received each school year in order for your child to receive benefits.  We encourage parents and guardians to complete their application online.  Make arrangements for a paper application by stopping by or contacting the FISD Administration Office at (903) 389-2532  |  615 Post Oak Road  |  Fairfield, Texas 75840.

APPLYING ONLINE

Applying online has many benefits.  Applications are processed more quickly since they are sent directly to our office within a matter of minutes.  You don't have to worry that a paper application has been left in a backpack or locker, and you don't have to wait for it to be sent from the campuses to the administration office to be processed.  Online applications take you through, step by step, helping to avoid common mistakes.  You can apply from any computer or smart phone.

How to apply

  • Go to www.schoolcafe.com/fisd from a computer or download the app on your smartphone.

  • Sign up for an account if you do not already have one.

  • Add all students attending Fairfield ISD.

    • This can be done with their 6 digit student ID. If you do not have their ID, you can add them later in the application process without it.

      • You may obtain their student ID from the campus office or the Child Nutrition office.

  • From the SchoolCafè dashboard, select Apply for Benefits.

  • Select from English or Spanish as your language.

  • Follow the prompts to submit your application.

  • You may check on the status of your application from SchoolCafè or by contacting the Child Nutrition office. Notices will also be emailed, or mailed if an email is not available.

  • If you do not have internet access at home or from your smartphone, a computer will be available at all campus offices and the FISD Administration Office in order for you to apply online.

  • To expedite the application process, we highly recommend that households submit their application online. This will make sure the application reaches us quickly, and will usually be processed the same business day it was submitted.

  • Once you have a SchoolCafè account, you will have access to your student's account balances, purchase history, and make online payments.

HELPFUL HINTS

  • Put all students on one application. It is not necessary to send separate applications for each student.

  • Use the student's legal name that is used on their school records. Include last names for all students on your application. Do not use nicknames.

  • If applying with SNAP or TANF we must have your EDG#. Case numbers and card numbers may not be used.

  • Make sure all required fields have been completed and are accurate.

  • Include ALL household members on your application, even if they do not receive income.

  • Include income for all that receive it. Make sure you indicate how often income is received. Gross income should be listed (before any deductions are taken).

  • We must have an adult household member sign the application, and, in most cases include the last 4 digits of their SSN.

  • Incomplete applications cannot be processed, and will either cause a delay until we can get complete information from you or be denied.

GRACE PERIOD

The grace period for 2019-2020 will end September 26, 2019!

Students that were receiving free/reduced meal benefits as of the end of the previous school year have a 30 operating day grace period for the current school year. During this grace period they will continue to receive the same benefits they did the previous year until a new application is received and processed.  At the end of the grace period, anyone that has not had a new application processed will go back to full-pay status and will be responsible for paying for meals.  About two weeks prior to the grace period ending, we send notice that we have not received a new application from you.  Please do not ignore the notice.  Avoid any confusion or delay by applying online.

APPLICATION PROCESSING TIME

While we try our best to process applications the same day that we receive them, we do have up to 10 days, from the time they are received by the Child Nutrition Office, to finish processing your application.  Sending them back to school with your child is fine, but there will likely be a delay between it being turned in at the campus and making it to our office.  Incomplete applications cannot be processed. Please make plans to send money with your child or pack a lunch for them until your application has been approved.  Benefits are not retroactive and will begin from the time your application has been processed.  

APPROVAL/DENIAL NOTIFICATION

You should receive a letter or email within a couple days after your application has been processed.  You may check on the status of your application by phone  (903) 389-2532 or email: crystal.thill@fairfieldisd.org. You may also check on your application through SchoolCafé by selecting Eligibility Info > My Applications or Notifications.

Payments

IMPORTANT

There is now a $2.25 convenience fee per online payment transaction.  This is to comply with federal guidelines regarding allowable costs to the Child Nutrition Program. This fee goes directly to the payment processor. We do not profit from or receive any portion of this fee.

ONCE YOU HAVE AN ACCOUNT WITH Schoolcafe YOU CAN:

  • See how much money is on your child's meal account 24/7

  • Make payments directly to your child's meal account, preventing lost or forgotten money

  • Track account activity; see exactly what your child is purchasing

  • Add or change parental controls over purchase restrictions

MAKING PAYMENTS AT SCHOOL

  • We highly recommend sending a check rather than cash

  • Put your child's first and last name in the memo section of the check - include their Student ID# if possible

  • If you do decide to send cash, please put it in an envelope with your child's first and last name on it - include their Student ID# if possible

  • We cannot accept credit card payments in the cafeteria lines or at any campus. If you wish to pay by credit card, please do so online

REFUNDS

  • You may request a refund for the remaining balance on your child's account. You may request the refund in person by speaking to the cafeteria manager, or you may submit your request using the Cafeteria Refund Request Form.

TRANSFERS

  • You may request to transfer funds between your children’s accounts. You can manage transfers yourself through SchoolCafé or you can contact Crystal Thill.

END-OF-YEAR BALANCES

  • Positive balances will automatically carry over to the new school year.

  • Negative balances should be paid before the new school year begins. Balances not paid by that time will be taken off of your child's cafeteria account, but will be transferred over to the district. The amount is still owed, and the campus principal or staff may contact you for payment.

Unpaid Meal Charge Policy & Responsibilities

Students may charge up to the thresholds as detailed below. Once they reach that threshold, their choice of entree will be limited until charges are paid below the threshold or they bring enough money to cover their meal cost for the day. Students will still be able to select fruits, vegetables, and other accompaniments offered with the meal. Limited entree meals are still complete meals and will continue to be charged to the student's account at full meal prices. Students may not charge snacks or extra portions. Only a complete, reimbursable breakfast or lunch may be charged.

Charging Thresholds:

  • Students - Elementary & Intermediate: $19.75 | Junior High: $21.25 | High School: $23.25

  • Staff/Faculty: may charge up to $25.00

  • Visitors/Others: charging is not permitted

Limited Entree Choices:

  • Breakfast: Chex Cereal (2 servings)

  • Lunch: Grab n’ Go Choices: Hummus Grab n’ Go or Yogurt Grab n’ Go

    *choices subject to change due to availability

Responsibilities:

Child Nutrition Director

  • Fairly and respectfully implement charging policy, as approved by the FISD Board of Trustees

  • Distribute charging procedures with the packet that is sent at the start of school or when a new student enrolls

  • Reminders will be sent using email on Monday*, Wednesday*, and Friday* for any students with a negative balance

  • Notices will be mailed home for students owing $15.00 or more each Thursday*

  • Free/Reduced applications are processed as quickly as possible to help eliminate charges

  • Maintain charge records

  • Document contact or attempted contact with households regarding charges

Campus Cafeteria Managers & Cashiers

  • Fairly and respectfully implement charging policy, as approved by the FISD Board of Trustees

  • Respectfully let students know that they are getting low on funds at the register

  • Once a student owes $15.00, the cafeteria manager or designated staff member will attempt to call home

  • Document contact or attempted contact with household regarding charges

Parents/Guardians

  • Review charging policy, as approved by the FISD Board of Trustees

  • Maintain a positive balance in your child's meal account

  • Free/Reduced application will be completed promptly if the need arises for meal benefits, and reapply each school year that benefits are needed

  • Update contact information as needed with your child's campus so that you can receive balance notification

  • Encouraged to set up an account with SchoolCafé to monitor balances, view account activity, and set parental controls for

    your child's meal account

*will vary during school holidays and breaks

Use schoolcafe.com to help track account balances.  You may make payments online, or simply use it to monitor balances and purchases being made.  You may also set up a customized threshold for notifications (separate from the notifications we send).

Parents may set restrictions for meal accounts, also through schoolcafe.com


Contact Us

We’re always happy to assist with any question or concern you may have.

ADMINISTRATION OFFICE - (903) 389-2532
615 Post Oak Road | Fairfield, Texas 75840

Crystal Thill, Director


ELEMENTARY - (903) 389-2148
Victoria Coleman, Manager


INTERMEDIATE - (903) 389-7095
Samantha Woods, Manager


JUNIOR HIGH - (903) 389-4210
Tiffany Serrato, Manager


HIGH SCHOOL - (903) 389-4177
Judy Rask, Manager

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