Media Release for Free and Reduced Meals

 

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.  While applying online is preferred, paper applications are available at all school offices.

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.

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 denied.

Grace Period
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.  Any charges applied to accounts are still owed even if you are later approved for benefits.  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 within a couple days after your application has been processed.  If we have an email address on file, you will also receive an email.  You may check on the status of your application by phone: (903) 389-2532 or email: crystal.thill@fairfieldisd.org.