Free and Reduced Meal Program

  • To receive free or reduced priced meals in the current school year, your child(ren) must have a new, current year’s application on file in the Child Nutrition office. 

    Charges and/or Meals Consumed Prior to the Application Being Approved for Meal Benefits: Parents and Guardians are responsible for any charges incurred by their children in the cafeteria. This includes the time frame when applications are being processed for meal benefits until they are approved. 

    It is important to include all household members and students on the application even if they choose not to participate in the program. 

    The State of Texas provides compensatory education funding to school districts based on the number of students approved for free and reduced meals. Therefore, every student must be counted in order to receive maximum funding for the district.

     

    APPLY ONLINE                   CHECK YOUR STATUS

     
    For parents who cannot access the online application, paper applications are available in the Child Nutrition Department located at 555 Julie Rivers Dr., Sugar Land, TX, 77478, or check with your campus front office.  Questions?  Call (281) 634-1855.
     

    Returning Applicants

     
    For returning students who currently receive free and reduced meals, a new application must be submitted and approved prior to the October expiration date noted on your eligibility letter to avoid any interruption in program benefits.  Please click on the Apply Online link above. Submit only one application per household.
      

    Frequently Asked Questions 

     

    Do I need to fill out an application for each child? 

    No. Complete one Free and Reduced-Price School Meals Application for all children in the household. We cannot approve an incomplete application so be sure to fill out all required information. Return the completed paper application to Fort Bend ISD, Child Nutrition Dept., 555 Julie Rivers Dr., Sugar Land, TX, 77478.

    Who can get free meals?   

    • Income—Your children can get free or reduced-price meals if your household’s gross income (total without deductions) is within the limits described on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.
    • Special Program Participants—All children in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), can get free meals regardless of income. Children who attend Head Start, Early Head Start, and Even Start are also eligible for free meals.
    • Foster—Foster children under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court appointed guardian are eligible for free meals. A foster child is eligible for free meals regardless of the income of his or her resident household.
    • Homeless, Runaway, and Migrant Farm Worker—Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant farm worker qualify for free meals. If you haven’t been told about a child’s status as homeless, runaway, or migrant farm worker, please call Special Programs (281) 634-1357.

    If you have received a letter of notification that your child is directly certified for free meals, do not complete an application, but do let the school know if any children in your household who attend school did not receive a letter. 

    Should I fill out an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are approved for free meals? 

    Carefully read the letter you received and follow the instructions. Call the Child Nutrition Department if you have further questions.

    My child’s application was approved last year. Do I need to fill out another one? 

    Yes. Your child’s application is only good for one school year and the first few days of the current school year.

    I receive WIC. Can my child(ren) get free meals? 

    Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Please fill out an application based on income.

    What if my income is not always the same? 

    List the amount that you normally receive. Even if you missed some work in the last month, put down your usual pay. If you normally get overtime pay, include it. If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.  

    Do we include our housing allowance as income if we are in the military? 

    If you get an off-base housing allowance, it must be included as income. If your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income.

    Is combat pay counted as income? 

    No, if combat pay is received because of deployment in addition to basic pay and was not received before deployment, combat pay is not counted as income. 

    May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen? 

    Yes. You or your child(ren) do not have to be U.S. citizens to qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

    Will the information I give be checked? 

    Yes. We may also ask you to send written proof.

    If I don’t qualify now, may I apply later?

    Yes. You may apply at any time during the school year.

    If your household income or circumstances change after you have applied for the current year, you may become eligible for free or reduced-price meals.  Please call (281) 634-1855 for instructions.

    Who should I include as members of my household? 

    You must include yourself, as well as others living with you who share income and expenses—related to you or not (grandparents, other relatives, or friends). You must include yourself and all children living with you. Do not include others who live with you who are economically independent—that is anyone you do not support, does not share income with you, and does pay a pro-rated share of expenses.

    What if I disagree with the District’s decision about my application? 

    You should call the Child Nutrition Department. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to the Director of Child Nutrition, P.O. Box 1004, Sugar Land, TX, 77478-1004, (281) 634-1855.

    My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for? 

    To find out how to apply for other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 2-1-1.
     
    What if I have more questions?
     
    Please call (281) 634-1855 or email us at mealapps@fortbendisd.com.