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Universal free meals have ended; applying before Sept. 30 may help schools qualify for additional funding

The federal COVID-19 waivers which allowed for free meals during the pandemic are expiring. That means meals will once again be fee-based on family eligibility for the 2022-23 school year and onward. 

To be considered for free or reduced-priced meals and other educational benefits, parents/caregivers must complete the Free/Reduced Meal Application. The benefits of filling out the application and being approved (or qualifying) may include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Free or reduced meal costs for your student if your household income qualifies. 
  • Applications completed and approved prior to Oct. 1 will help provide funding for the school your child attends, which can be used to provide additional resources that benefit students. 
  • To qualify for P-EBT benefits if extended into the upcoming school year. 
  • Testing fees for the ACT, SAT and AP Fees may be discounted as well as field trips and band instruments rentals. 
  • Reduced internet rates with certain providers. 
  • Athletics fees waived or reduced. 

There are three ways to fill out the Free/Reduced Meal Application: 

  1. Online through SmartSchoolK12 at district279.org/FMA. This option will create a family account allowing online access to view meal accounts. 
  2. Online at bit.ly/3hWdk7Q or scanning the QR code. This option will bypass making a family account while still allowing completion of the application. The online application is available in five languages.
    qr code for free and reduced meals
  3. By paper. All families will receive an application in the mail at the end of July/beginning of August. 

Please reach out to the Nutrition Services team with any questions. Contact Julie Moberg at MobergJ@district279.org or 612-391-7129.