Free & Reduced Meals

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Free & Reduced Meals

5 Reasons Why to Apply

UNIVERSAL FREE MEALS HAVE EXPIRED FOR THE 22/23 SCHOOL YEAR. Upon the start of the school year, students will be charged for lunch unless they qualify for free or reduced-price meals. We are encouraging families to apply for meal benefits for the 2022–2023 school year (before August 16, 2022) to ensure negative balances do not accrue on students’ accounts.


Why are meals no longer free?
During COVID, Congress allowed the United States Department of Agriculture to grant waivers allowing all students to eat for free. Congress did not vote to extend the waivers, resulting in school districts having to charge for school meals again unless students qualify for free and reduced-price meals.


Family Benefits to Submitting a Meal Application Family Income Form:
● School program fees are waived.
● After-school program fees are waived.
● Preschool programs fees are waived.
● SAT and ACT tests and college application fees are reduced.
● Access to community food banks services are available.
● Discounts on utilities and internet service are available.
● Discounts for participation in community groups like sports or YMCA programs are available.

School Benefits to Submitting a Meal Application Family Income Form:
● Schools receive more federal dollars in their budgets to support students.
● Schools receive additional dollars in grants targeting school programs.
● Title I Schools receive additional funding dollars for classroom support.
● District Technology Services receives additional e-rate funding dollars for classroom support.
● St. Vrain Valley Schools qualifies to receive more money per student from the state and federal
government, which they can pass on to school classrooms.
● Middle schools with high return rates may also help their feeder elementary schools qualify for free
afterschool snacks, dinners, and on-site summer meals.
● Schools may become eligible for money to fund after-school programs.
● Schools may become eligible for money to fund preschool programs


A new application must be completed each school year, available after July 1st of each year. Families are responsible for any charges that accrue anytime between benefit status lapses. 

Applying online is the fastest way to get your application processed to ensure no lapse in coverage happens. Applying online also reduces the chance for errors and the need to send applications back to families to correct.

I don’t qualify for free or reduced priced meals, do I need to do anything?
If you do not believe you qualify for free or reduced-price meals, please make sure that there is money on your students’ accounts. You can add money to their account through MySchoolBucks

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