Free and Reduced-Price Meals
The nationwide waiver to provide all K-12 students free meals regardless of income expired June 30, 2022. Meals will no longer be free to all PPS students in the 2022-23 school year. Eligible families can submit an online or paper Confidential Family Application to see if they qualify for free and reduced-priced meals.
NOTE: If you receive federal assistance, like SNAP, TANF, FDPIR and have received a 2022-23 PPS Direct Certification approval letter, or all of the students in your household attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school, you do not need to submit a meal application. To confirm, contact the PPS Meal Benefits Office at 503.916.3402 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online Application Process
1. Click the Apply Online button (or download the SchoolCafe app on any iOS or Android device).
2. Create a SchoolCafe account or use your existing account if you have one. If you don't remember your password, please click on Forgot Password.
3. Click on the Apply for Benefits button to bring up the application.
4. Complete each question and click Submit my application button.
NOTE: You can check the status of the application and even print out the approval/denial letter.
- If a household meets the Oregon Expanded Income Guidelines (OR EIG), the application status will show 'Denied' via SchoolCafe. This is because the system can only show the Federal approval/denial status. An OR EIG approval letter will be mailed within 10 business days.
- If a household is Directly Certified, the application status will show 'Deleted'. A meal application is not needed and cannot be processed, so it is deleted from the system. A 2022-23 Direct Certification letter is sent via mail to the adult who qualified for the benefit (for example, the SNAP recipient). To receive a copy of the letter, contact the PPS Meal Benefits Office.
- If all students in a household attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school, the application status will show 'Deleted'. A meal application is not needed and cannot be processed, so it is deleted from the system. To request a letter stating a student in the household attends a CEP school and receives meals at no cost, please contact the PPS Meal Benefits Office. This letter can be used to receive other benefits, like low-cost internet.
Applying with a Paper Application:
To submit a paper application, click on the 2022-23 Confidential Family Application for Free and Reduced Priced Meals below. Print out and complete the required information and mail the application to the PPS Nutrition Services Department, 501 N. Dixon St., Portland, OR 97227 or request one from the school office or cafeteria.
If approved, meal benefits begin on the date the application is approved and cannot be backdated to cover prior purchases. Example, if the meal application is approved on Friday, September 2nd, meals purchased from Tuesday, August 30 through Thursday, September 1 would not be free, only meals purchased September 2nd and on. Families are responsible for the meal charges incurred.
If families do not qualify for free and reduced-price meals, a meal application can be submitted any time during the school year. This means if circumstances change that allow families to meet the income guidelines, they can submit an application at that time.
PLEAST NOTE: If your student attends a charter school or community-based site, please contact your student's school or site directly for more information on their meal application process. The PPS Meal Benefits Office processes meal applications for sites it serves and claims meals for which do not include charter schools or community-based sites.
Meal Benefits Resources
2022-23 Income Guidelines
2022-23 Confidential Family Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals
Submitting Meal Applications
Who Should Apply for Meal Benefits
What You Need to Know if Meal Benefits are Approved
What You need to Know if Meal Benefits are Denied
Annual Meal Benefits Verification Process
Free and Reduced Benefits Flyer
Student Meal Account Balances
Permission to Share Form