Free and Reduced-Price Meals

  • Click here for free and reduced lunch application

What is Free and Reduced Price Lunch and Breakfast?

  • The free and reduced lunch program allows children to consume school breakfast and lunch at school at no cost. The program is available to all families who qualify.

     

    Community Eligibility Program (CEP)

    Several Federal Way schools are designated to participate in CEP this year. Parents and guardians of students in those schools do not have to fill out the usual free and reduced lunch application, but are asked to complete an income survey in order to ensure their child's school qualifies for federal and state funding that is determined by parent income levels. Meals will be served to all students in CEP schools for free regardless of free and reduced status. 

    The following schools are participating in CEP for the 2018-19 school year: Lake Grove, Mark Twain, Mirror Lake, Olympic View, Panther Lake, Sunnycrest, Wildwood and Open Doors.

     

How do I Apply for Free and Reduced Lunch?

  • The best and quickest way to submit your application is Online.

    Apply here for Free and Reduced Meal Benefits for the 2019-20 school year. To begin the process Create an Account or Login if you have previously created an account for Meal App Now at Federal Way Public Schools.

    Applying online is the quickest way to get your application approved. If you don’t have Internet access or prefer to fill out the paper form, no worries — you can still do that.

    Paper applications are available at FWPS Nutrition Services, 1214 South 332nd St., Federal Way, WA 98003 and at all FWPS school sites. 

    Only complete one application per household.

     You will be notified by mail or e-mail of your child’s status. Until approval you must provide your child with a lunch or lunch money.

     

For Assistance with Applications

Free and Reduced Meal FAQs

  • My child's application was approved last year. Do I need to fill out a new one?

    Yes. Your child's application is only good for that school year and for the first few days of this school year. You must send in a new application unless you have been notified by Nutrition Services that your child is eligible for the new school year. 

    Who should fill out an application?

    Fill out the application if: 

    • Total household income is the SAME or LESS than the amount on the cart below. 
      • Look at the income chart below. Find your household size. Find your total household income. If members in the household are paid at different times during the month and you are unsure if your household is eligible, fill out an application and we will determine your income eligibility for you. The information you give will be used to determine your child's eligibility for free or reduced price meals. 
    • You receive Basic Food, take part in the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (FNF) for your children. 
    • You are applying for foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court.
      • Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals regardless of personal use income. If you have questions about applying for meal benefits for foster children, please contact us at dnutt@fwps.org or 253-945-5563

    What counts as income? Who is considered a member of my household?

    Household is defined as all persons, including parents, children, grandparents, and all people related or unrelated who live in your home and share living expenses. If applying for a household with foster child, you may include the foster child in the total household size. 

    Household Income is considered the income each household member received before taxes. This includes wages, social security, pension, unemployment, welfare, child support, alimony, and any other cash income. If including a foster child as part of the household, you must also include the foster child's personal income. Do not report foster payments as income. 

    USDA Child Nutrition Program Income Guidelines

    What must be on the application?

    For households not getting any assistance:

    • Student name(s)
    • Names of all household members
    • Income by source for all household members
    • Adult household member's signature
    • Last four digits of social security number of the adult household member who signs the application (or if the adult signing does not have a social security number, check the associated box).

    For households with only foster child(ren):

    • Student name(s)
    • Adult household member signature

    For a family getting Basic Food/TANF/FDPIR:

    • List all student names
    • Enter a case number
    • Adult household member's signature

    For household with foster child(ren) and other children:

    • Follow directions for "Households not getting any assistance" above

    What if I am not receiving basic food dollars?

    If you have been approved for Basic Food but do not actually receive Basic Food dollars, you may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. You must apply for meal benefits by filling out a meal application and returning it to your child's school. 

    Do my children automatically qualify if they have a case number?

    Yes. Children on TANF or Basic Food may get free meals and children receiving some Medicaid benefits may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals without the household having to complete an application. These children are identified by using a state data matching process. This matched list is then made available to Nutrition Services. The students on this list get free meals. Please contact us immediately if you feel your children should be receiving free meals and are not. If you do not want your child to participate in the free meal programs using this method, please notify us. 

    If anyone in my household has a case number, will all children qualify for free meals?

    Yes. If someone else in the household has a case number, other than a foster child, you must fill out an application and send it to your child's school. Please contact us immediately if you feel other children in your household should be receiving free meals and are not. 

    Basic Food- Can I qualify for assistance in buying food?

    Basic Food is the state's food stamp program. It helps households make ends meet by providing monthly benefits to buy food. Getting Basic Food is easy! You can apply in person at the local DSHS Community Service Office, by mail, or online. There are other benefits too. You can learn about Basic Food by calling 1-877-501-2233 or by logging on to https://www.dshs.wa.gov/esa/community-services-offices/basic-food

    We are in the military. Do we report our income differently?

    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. 

     

    What if some household members have no income to report?

    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 zero 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. 

    What if I have questions about health coverage?

    To inquire about or apply for health care coverage for children in your family, please visit http://www.wahealthplanfinder.org or you may call Washington Health Plan Finder at 1-855-923-4633. 

    What if my child needs special foods?

    If you child needs special foods, please contact our Dietitians at 253-945-5567, 253-945-5557, lhoffman@fwps.org or apapndi@fwps.org. 

    Will I need to provide proof of income?

    The income information you provide may be verified at any time. You may be asked to send additional information to prove your child is eligible to receive free and reduced-price meals. 

    What if I do not agree with the decision on my child's application?

    If you do not agree with the decision on your child's application or the process used to prove income eligibility, you may talk with Karla Kolibab, Fair Hearing Official. You have the right to a fair hearing, which may be arranged by calling 253-945-5561. 

    May I submit a second application in a single school year?

    Yes. You may apply for benefits any time during the school year. If you should have a decrease in household income, an increase in household size, or become unemployed, or receive Basic Food, TANF, FDPIR, you may be eligible for benefits and should fill out an additional application at that time.