Free and Reduced Meal Information

  • Many families in the community may qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, but may not yet be receiving these financial benefits. Any family who qualifies (by income) can receive free or reduced-priced meals. A student's participation in the free or reduced-price meals program is treated as highly confidential.     

    Children in households that receive SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), TANF or FDPIR, and most foster children, can receive free meals through participation in one of these programs. Medicaid data is also used to determine student eligibility for free and reduced-price school meals. Households that participate in any of these programs DO NOT need to fill out the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application.
    Families in our District who do not qualify for one of these programs are still encouraged to complete the Free and Reduced Price Meal Application. If your student is approved for free or reduced-priced meals, we encourage you and your family to take advantage of this valuable benefit, which can help stretch your family budget. Even families that do not wish to have their child receive school meals or participate in the free and reduced-price meals program are encouraged to fill out an application, as this information can benefit the District by allowing it to access funding for at-risk populations. 

    Families are encouraged to complete the application online, as the process reduces the potential for errors and therefore reduces processing time. The free and reduced price meal applications are also provided to every student household in the MCPS district at the beginning of each school year, and families are encouraged to complete and return the form as soon as possible to begin receiving benefits as soon as possible; however, families may also apply at any time during the school year. If your household income changes at any time, you are welcome to re-apply for free or reduced-priced meals. 

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Applications for this program must be completed every school year. If your student was approved for free and reduced meals in our school district last year, the free and reduced status is automatically extended for the first 30 operating days of the next school year. Families must re-apply within those 30 days to continue receiving benefits.

    Student information related to this program is highly confidential. All students eating school meals receive the same lunch cards, meals, etc. Students on the program will not be identified as they gather their meals and go through the lunch line.  If you have questions or need help completing the application, please contact your school directly or call Stacey Rossmiller at 728-2400, ext. 3023.