Frequently Asked Questions for Free & Reduced Meal Application


What measures can I take to expedite the application process?

Use our online Meal Application process 

·         The application comes directly to the Food and Nutrition Office.

·         You will have a confirmation number to follow up on the status of your application and the application will be processed in 2-5 days.

·         Paper applications are available in the school office or cafeteria. Please note that paper applications may take up to 10 days to process.

You will need to provide the following information:        

·         Your child’s name as it appears on their birth certificate.

·         All household income and frequency (include adults and any children who receive income).

·         The total number of persons living in the household.

·         The last four digits of the Social Security Number of any adult household member or check the box “Check if no SSN”.

·         The signature of an adult household member who is listed in Step 4.

·         Applications cannot be processed without a signature.

·         Incomplete applications cannot be processed.


Stop SignIf you have received a recent Notice of Direct Certification for free meals, do not complete the meal application. However you will need to call (480) 472-0929 if any children in your household are not listed on the Notice of Direct Certification letter you received.

Who can get free meals?


All children in households receiving benefits from SNAP (food stamps), the FDPIR or TANF (cash assistance), can get free meals regardless of your income. Also, your children can get free meals if your household’s gross income is within the free limits of the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.


Who can get reduced price meals?


Your children can get low cost meals if your income is within the reduced price limits on the Federal Eligibility Income Chart, shown on the application.


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

No, one application is required for all students in your household.

·         In Step 1 be sure to list ALL children attending a Mesa Public School.


Who should I include as members of my household?


You must include all people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends) who share income and expenses. You must include yourself and all children living with you. If you live with other people who are economically independent ( for example, people who you do not support, who do not share income with you or your children and who pay a pro-rated share of expenses), do not include them.



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.


Can Homeless, Runaway, and Migrant children get free meals?


Yes, children who meet the definition of migrant, homeless and runaway qualify for free meals. To confirm the status of homeless or runaway children, call (480) 472-0291. To confirm migrant status call (480) 308-7564.


Do I need to fill out a meal application for a foster child?


No, if you provide us with a copy of “The Notice to Provider Educational and Medical” letter.

Yes, if you do not have “The Notice to Provider Educational and Medical” letter.


Do I need to provide money while waiting for the application to be processed?


Yes, you need to provide money for your child’s meals until the application has been processed.

Have the eligibility guidelines changed from last school year?

Yes, the eligibility guidelines change from year to year.

Do I need to submit a new meal application?

Yes, a new meal application must be submitted each school year.


·         The previous year’s application status is still in effect until September 20, 2018 or until a new meal application has been submitted.

·         If the new application changes your status for the better, it will go into effect immediately.

·         If the meal application changes the status from free or reduced to paid, a status change letter will be sent and you will be given 10 days notice of the change.


Will the information I provide be checked?


Yes, we may ask you to send written proof of the information you provided.

·         If we do not receive this information upon request, your child’s meal status will change to PAID.


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


Yes, a meal application can be submitted any time during the school year. For example, children with a parent or guardian who becomes unemployed may become eligible for free or reduced meals if the household income drops below the income limit.


Can I get a copy of my “Eligibility Notification Letter”?


Yes, a letter is automatically sent home after the application has been processed, please be sure to save this letter for future reference (summer school, swim lessons, tests, band, orchestra etc.).


To replace a lost letter, use one of the following methods listed below. Please provide the student’s first name and last name, student’s 6 digit ID# (if known), grade, and how you would like to receive the copy of this letter.


·         Website: request a copy of Eligibility Notification Letter

·         Email: ymwhiting@mpsaz.org

·         Phone: call Debbie Rosser at 480-472-0929


*** If you have other questions or need help, call 480-472-0929.