Meal Benefits FAQ's

  • Q: Do I need to complete a meal application for each child?

    A: No. You only need to complete one application per household. Foster children residing with families are now considered as part of the family with which they reside. A separate application for each foster child is no longer needed.

    Q: How do I know if my household is eligible for free or reduced-price meals?

    A: Parents or guardians should complete the Meal Application at the beginning of each school year (or when the child enrolls) and return it promptly to the school or Food & Nutrition Services Office.  You will be sent a letter home from school informing you of your eligibility once it has been determined. 

    Q: If I don’t have a Social Security number can I still complete an application?

    A: Yes. Complete the application and check the box next to “I do not have a social security number.”

    Q: Will other government agencies see my completed application?

    A: No. Completed applications are confidential.

    Q:Our family receives CalFresh. Will my child automatically receive free meals? 

    A:Not necessarily.  We do attempt to Directly Certify all families who qualify based on their CalFresh benefits, but we do not always receive all families info.  If you do not receive a notice from the Food & Nutrition Services Department in the mail before school starts in August you will need to submit a complete meal application.  Follow the instructions provided with the meal application and check the box next to the type of benefits received and enter the 9-character case number.  IRegulations allow up to 10 days for processing.  You may purchase meals or provide meals from home until you are notified that your child has been approved for free meals.

    Q: I turned in an application today.  I know I qualify.  Will you give my students free meals today?

    A: Not neccesarily.  IF your family received free or reduced meal benefits in PUSD the previous school year, that eligibility carries over for the first thirty (30) days of the new school year.  If you did not previously receive benefits or last years benefits have expired, you are responsible to provide meals or send money to school for your students to purchase meals.