Free & Reduced

ANNOUNCEMENT

We will be going mostly paperless with free/reduced applications starting the 2018-2019 school year.  We will keep you up to date as we make progress with the transition!  To prepare, you may create an account with SchoolCafé.  

Why this change?  Online applications are more quickly approved, and, because they walk you through, step-by-step, it's much more difficult to make common mistakes.  We feel this change will help us approve applications and get notification to you much more quickly.

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

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.

INCOME ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES

The chart below indicates the income limits to qualify for free or reduced meals.  You should use your gross income (income before any deductions are taken).

Eligibility Guidelines 2019.PNG