Free and Reduced Price Meals

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    Families can apply for Free and Reduced-Price Meals ONLINE! The process is SAFE, SECURE and PRIVATE. Just click on the button below.

    Apply Online

    Two Step Process to Submit an Online Meal Application:

    1. Create a SchoolCafe Account ( Click here for instructions in English | Spanish)

    2. Submit an Online Meal Application (Click here for instructions in English| Spanish

     

    Each student has a personal debit account linked to their PPS student identification (ID) number. Therefore, families do not need to setup an account. Students can use their ID number to purchase school meals at any school that serves meals during the school year. 

    All students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals receive one breakfast and one lunch per school day at no cost. Please contact the Nutrition Services Meal Benefits Office at 503.916.3402 if you have questions or need additional assistance. For interpretation assistance, please call the PPS Language Line listed below. For languages not listed, call 503.916.3427.

    2018-19 Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application (English)

    Free and Reduced Price School Meal Application translated in:

    • Chinese         PPS Language Line: 503.916.3585
    • Russian         PPS Language Line: 503.916.3583
    • Somali           PPS Language Line: 503.916.3586
    • Spanish         PPS Language Line: 503.916.3582
    • Vietnamese  PPS Language Line: 503.916.3584

     

    Submitting Meal Applications Before the School Year Begins 

    We encourage all eligible families to submit a new application for free and reduced price meals prior to the start of each new school year. This allows the application to be processed and the correct eligibility established before school starts. Families have the ability to fill out the Free and Reduced Price Meal Application online on or after July 1, 2018. Paper meal applications are available at every school office and cafeteria. Submit completed applications to the school cafeteria or mail to:

    PPS Nutrition Services
    PO Box 3107
    Portland, OR 97208-3107

     

    Submitting Meal Applications After the School Year Begins

    Completed meal applications are accepted anytime throughout the school year, and can be submitted to your student's school cafeteria or mailed to the PPS Nutrition Services Department. Families who were approved for free or reduced lunch last school year have a 30 day grace period after school begins to submit a new meal application. Please verify federal income guidelines before applying. If a meal application is denied within the grace period, meal charges would begin 10 days after the new application is processed. Families would need to provide meals from home or funds to purchase meals.

     

    Who Should Apply?

    You should complete the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application if:

    • Your household meets the 2018-19 federal income guidelines (see below)
    • You qualify for SNAP benefits and do not receive a 2018-19 Direct Certifcation letter before school begins
    • You take part in the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
    • You receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    • You are applying for a Foster Child

     

    2018-19 Federal Income Guidelines

     income guidelines
     
     
    What You Need to Know if Meal Benefits are APPROVED:

    • Students can go to the school cafeteria and provide their 6-digit student ID# to receive one breakfast and/or one lunch per school day at no cost. 

    • Meal benefits are valid until the last day of school. Families must reapply for meal benefits each school year. 

    • Students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals may also be eligible to receive additional benefits such as educational fee reductions and/or waivers as well as low cost internet (contact your Internet provider for more information). If you submit the Permission to Share form with your meal application, you can authorize the release of your Free or Reduced eligibility status to program officials that oversee the specified benefit(s). If you do not submit a form -- no information will be released. Just keep your meal benefits approval notification letter as proof of eligibility when applying for benefits.

      

    What You need to Know if Meal Benefits are DENIED:

    • Families can provide their student(s) a meal from home or provide funds to purchase school meals.

    • Families may submit a new meal application at any time during the school year if circumstances change (example, there is a decrease in income or increase in household members) which allow them to meet the federal income guidelines. 

     

    Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Schools

    If students attend one of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools, an application is not not needed unless there is student in a household that attends a non-CEP school. Students receive one breakfast and one lunch per school day at no cost.

     

    Provision 2  Schools

    If students attend a Provision 2 school, they are eligible to receive one breakfast per school day at no cost. Families can submit a meal application to see if they qualify for free lunch meal benefits.

     

    ANNUAL MEAL BENEFITS VERIFICATION PROCESS

    Each year, a sample of free and reduced meal applications are selected at random to verify the information given on the application. Selected families will need to submit documents to maintain meal benefits. Documents can be sent via email: mealbenefits@pps.net; mail to: PPS Nutrition Services, PO Box 3107, Portland, OR 97208; or uploaded via SchoolCafé using a computer or mobile app.

    For instructions on how to upload verification documenets via SchoolCafé, click here. To view a video on how to upload documents using SchoolCafé, click here.

     

    OTHER RESOURCES