Meal Benefits Program

School Meal Benefit Program

Free & Reduced Application



Secure online applications are now available and we encourage you to apply online at http://mdirss.schoollunchapp.com as this option is user friendly and reduces processing time.

Some AOS# 91 students may be eligible for free or reduced price meals depending on family size and income as part of the National School Lunch/Breakfast Program.  This program provides nutritious meals every school day for eligible students at participating elementary, middle/junior high, and high schools. 

Application for meal benefits must be completed each school year and only one application is needed per household.  Processing of an application takes 10 operating days.

You may also print off the application for your school, fill it out, and return to the school.



**NOTE: Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, we will offer a breakfast and lunch option for virtual-only students every day and for in-person/hybrid students on days they are not scheduled to be in the school building.  This will be aligned with the federal lunch program, including eligibility for free/reduced meals (an application must still be completed).  Parents/guardians will need to pick up the meal(s) at the school - there will be no delivery option like there was in the spring.  Parents/guardians selecting this option will be given detailed pick up instructions from the school.  




FAQ

Q: Who can get free or reduced price school meals?
A: Children in households receiving SNAP, TANF or, FDPIR benefits , and foster, homeless, and migrant children are eligible for free meals without reporting household income.  Alternatively, children may receive free or reduced-price meals if their household’s income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.

Q: Will information on my application be kept confidential?
A: We will use the information on your form to decide if your
child is eligible for free or reduced-price meals. We may inform officials connected with other child nutrition, health and education programs of the information on your form to determine benefits for those programs or for funding and/or evaluation purposes.

Q: How do I know if my children qualify as homeless, migrant, or runaway?
A: Do the members of your household lack a permanent address? Are you staying together in a shelter, hotel, or other temporary housing arrangement? Does your family relocate on a seasonal basis? Are any children living with you who have chosen to leave their prior family or household? If you believe children in your household meet these descriptions and haven’t been told your children will get free meals, e-mail Edith Dubois (edubois at mdirss.org).

Q: Do I need to fill out an application for each child?
A: No. Use one Application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information.

Q: Should I fill out an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are already approved for free meals?
A: No, but please read the letter you got carefully and follow the instructions.

Q: My child’s application was approved last year. Do I need to fill out a new one?
A: Yes. A new application must be submitted each school year unless the school told you that your child is eligible for the new school year. If you do not send in a new application that is approved by the school or you have not been notified that your child is eligible for free meals, your child will be charged the full price for meals.

Q: Will the form be verified?
A: Your eligibility may be checked at any time during the school year. School officials may ask you to send written evidence.

Q: Can I apply for free and reduced-price meals later?
A: Yes. Please complete an application at any time including if your income decreases, household size increases, or you start getting SNAP, TANF or benefits from FDPIR.

Q: What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application?
A: You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to: [name, address, phone number, e-mail].

Q: May I apply if someone in my household is not A U.S. citizen?
A: Yes. You, your children, or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply for free or reduced-price meals.

Q: What if my income is not always the same?
A: List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes. If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.

Q: What if some household members have no income to report?
A: Household members may not receive some types of income we ask you to report on the application or may not receive income at all. Whenever this happens, please write a 0 in the field. However, if any income fields are left empty or blank, those will also be counted as zeroes. Please be careful when leaving income fields blank, as we will assume you meant to do so.

Q: We are in the military. Do we report our income differently?
A: Your basic pay and cash bonuses must be reported as income. If you get any cash value allowances for off-base housing, food, or clothing, it must also be included as income.  However, if your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income. Any additional combat pay resulting from deployment is also excluded from income.

Q: What if there isn’t enough space on the application for my family?
A: List any additional household members on a separate piece of paper and attach it to your application.

Q: My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for?
A: For information about Food Supplement, Health Care, Cash Assistance and/or apply for Maine's Child Care Subsidy, go to My Maine Connection found online at https://www1.maine.gov/benefits/account/login.html. For low cost health insurance information, contact Consumers for Affordable Health Care (CAHC) at 1-800-965-7476.