The school meals program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, school corporations across the country have been operating with the use of a federal waiver that allowed them to feed every child for free through the end of this school year. The use of this waiver will not be available for the upcoming 2022-23 school year.
All school corporations, including NAFCS, will return to the traditional eligibility requirements for free, reduced and paid meals. NAFCS does have the ability to Directly Certify students who receive SNAP, TANF, some Medicaid, are certified as homeless, migrant, or are wards of the state (foster children). Households who are found to be directly certified will be notified in writing of the free or reduced-price meal status prior to the start of school and will not need to complete an application.
If you do not receive a letter notifying you of direct certification, you will need to apply for free/reduced priced meals for the 2022-23 school year. The applications will not be available until July 6*.
Households are encouraged to apply before the start of the school year to avoid unpaid meal charges. Students who are not approved for free or reduced-price meal benefits before the start of the school year will be classified as paid status and meal charges may begin to accumulate starting the first day of school. Meal charges accrued before the approval of a meal benefit application will be the responsibility of the household.
You do NOT need to complete an application if:
· You receive notification that your child(ren) are directly certified.
· You know your household does not qualify for meal benefits. (Please have money in your child’s account on the first day of school.)
· All children in your household attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) School (where all meals are free to all children):
- Hazelwood Middle School
- Fairmont Elementary School
- S. Ellen Jones Elementary School
- Green Valley Elementary School
*Please note that families DO need to fill out an application, even if their child(ren) attends a CEP school, to qualify for free/reduced textbook fees.
*Applications received prior to July 6th will not be effective for the 2022-2023 school year.
AFTER JULY 6th:
To apply for free meals after July 6th, click here and click on Free/Reduced Meal Application. If you would like assistance with filling out the application, staff are available during on-site registration.