Free & Reduced Meal Program
What is the Free & Reduced Meal Program?
The National School Lunch/Breakfast Program is a federally subsidized program that is designed to help eligible children receive complete, nutritious meals at reduced or no cost. Families that qualify for free or reduced priced meals can confidentially participate in both the USDA Lunch and Breakfast Programs at their schools. Each school year, a new application needs to be filled out and only 1 application per family is necessary. USDA Free and Reduced Price Meal Applications are not required to receive free meals at the CEP school(s). Completing the application is still necessary for other programs, and may be used to determine if your household is eligible for these additional benefits.
New Food And Nutrition, Free and Reduced Meals System
MMSD is using the service School Café to connect families to MMSD School Nutrition. Creating an account is quick and easy and will offer access to school menus, account balance, payment options, and the ability to apply and see the status of your free and reduced lunch application.
- Create your account on School Café. You will need your students school ID number to create an account. Please reach out to you school for this information if you are unable to locate it.
- Log back in to your School Café account
- Click the Free and Reduced Lunch application link in your School Café account
- Step 1. Find your household (all members living at your address) size. If the combined monthly gross income of all members is equal to or less than the amount listed, you maybe eligible for Free or Reduced-price School Meals.
- Step 2. Fill out Student Information/Part 1. Please print your student's name, ID#, Grade, School, and Food Stamp number (none, if not receiving FS). Complete for all children enrolled in the Madison School District.
- Step 3. For Foster or Institutional Student/Part 2. Please check appropriate box. Please communicate with your school. Some paper work may be required.
- Step 4. Fill out Gross Household Income/Part 3. Please print each member of the household's name, gross (before all deductions) income and how many times paid per month in the appropriate column. If the monthly income is equal to zero, please indicate with a zero. No Income in the last column of Part 3.
- Step 5. Fill out Household Information/Part 4. The "signer" of the application must be an adult member of the household. Please print and sign name, last four digits of SS# or check the box for none, phone numbers, and address.
- Step 6. Racial Identities/Part 5. This section is optional.
- Step 7. Make sure at the end of the application process a printable page with your web confirmation number appears. Please print for your records. If this page doesn't appear, please repeat.
Failure to fully complete all appropriate steps, will cause a delay in the approval of the application and its available benefits.
If you receive Food Stamps (Food Stamps); MMSD periodically does an electronic process which automatically qualifies students who are on the SNAP list. Those students are now "Directly Certified" and the families do not need to fill out an application. If you've received notification for one student and not other students, call 204-4001. It is advisable to complete the Free and Reduced-price meals application if you have not received notification that your student has qualified.
If you need any assistance in filling out the free and reduced application, please call your school office or the Food & Nutrition Office at 608-204-4001. Our Office hours are 6:30am - 3:00pm, Monday through Friday.
If a household member becomes unemployed or, if the household size changes, the family should fill out a new application or call 204-4001. A household can apply/reapply as many times as needed during a school year.
The information the household adult provides on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by program officials. The information provided by the household adult on the application is confidential.
Under the provisions of the School Agency's policy for free or reduced-price school meals, the district will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent or guardian (household adult) is dissatisfied with the ruling of the official, he/she may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. If the parent or guardian (household adult) wishes to make a formal appeal, he/she may make a request either orally or in writing to: Director of Food & Nutrition, 4711 Pflaum Road, Madison, WI 53718-6765, 204-4001. If a hearing is needed to appeal the decision, the policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure. A copy of the policy can be obtained at the school office.