Spokane Public Schools

Online Free and Reduced Application

Letter to Household (Use the scrollbar to view the entire letter) PRINT

National School Lunch Program/School Breakfast Program

2018-19 Letter to Households (Public Schools)

Dear Parent/Guardian:

This letter tells how your children can get free or reduced-price meals, as well as information on other benefits. The cost of school meals is shown below.

Breakfast will be served at no cost to those children who qualify for free and reduced-price meals. Lunches will be served at no cost to children who qualify for free meals and to those who qualify for reduced-price meals in kindergarten through 3rd grade. All other students (preschool and 4th – 12th grades) will be charged the rates shown below.

Grade Level

Breakfast Lunch Snack Breakfast Lunch Snack
K-3 All Other Students
K-6 $1.65 $2.85 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.40 $0.00
7-8 $1.90 $3.50 $0.00 $0.00 -- $0.40 $0.00
9-12 $1.90 $3.50 $0.00 $0.00 -- $0.40 $0.00


WHO SHOULD FILL OUT AN APPLICATION?                                                                                                                                                                                     

Fill out the application if:

• Total household income is the SAME or LESS than the amount on the chart
• You receive Basic Food, take part in the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for your children
• You are applying for foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court

Be sure to submit ONLY ONE application per household. We will notify you if the application is approved or denied. If any child you are applying for is homeless (McKinney-Vento), or migrant, check the appropriate box.


WHAT COUNTS AS INCOME? WHO IS CONSIDERED A MEMBER OF MY HOUSEHOLD?                                                                                                                       

Look at the income chart. Find your household size. Find your total household income. If members in the household are paid at different times during the month and you are unsure if your household is eligible, fill out an application and we will determine your income eligibility for you. The information you give will be used to determine your child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meals.

Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals regardless of personal use income. If you have questions about applying for meal benefits for foster children, please contact Nutrition Services at (509) 354-7270. 

For July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019

Household size Annual Monthly Twice per Month Every Two Weeks      Weekly
1 $22,459 $1,872 $936 $864 $432
2 $30,451 $2,538 $1,269 $1,172 $586
3 $38,443 $3,204 $1,602 $1,479 $740
4 $46,435 $3,870 $1,935 $1,786 $893
5 $54,427 $4,536 $2,268 $2,094 $1,047
6 $62,419 $5,202 $2,601 $2,401 $1,201
7 $70,411 $5,868 $2,934 $2,709 $1,355
8 $78,403 $6,534 $3,267 $3,016 $1,508
Each additional person: +$7,992 +$666 +$333 +$308 +$154

HOUSEHOLD is defined as all persons, including parents, children, grandparents, and all people related or unrelated who live in your home and share living expenses. If applying for a household with a foster child, you may include the foster child in the total household size.                                                     

HOUSEHOLD INCOME is considered to be the income each household member received before taxes. This includes wages, social security, pension, welfare, child support, unemployment, alimony, and any other cash income. If including a foster child as part of the household, you must also include the foster child’s personal income. Do not report foster payments as income.            

WHAT MUST BE ON THE APPLICATION?                                                                                                                                                                                             

A. For households not getting any assistance:

  • Student’s name (s)
  • Names of all household members
  • Income by source for all household members
  • Adult household member's signature
  • Last 4 digits of social security number of the adult household member who signs the application, (or if the adult signing does not have a social security number, check the associated box).


B. For a household with only a foster child(ren):

  • Student’s name
  • Adult household member's signature

 You may also send the school a copy of the court documentation showing the foster child(ren) was placed with you instead of filling out an application form.

Last 4 digits of SSN are not required for B.

C. For a family getting Basic Food/TANF/FDPIR:

  • List all student names
  • Enter a case number
  • Adult household member's signature


D. For household with a foster child(ren) and other children:

  • Apply as a household and include foster children. Follow the directions for "A". Households not getting any assistance" and include the foster child's peronal use income.

Last 4 digits of SSN are not required for D

WHAT IF I’M NOT RECEIVING BASIC FOOD DOLLARS?                                                                                                                                                          

If you have been approved for Basic Food but do not actually receive Basic Food dollars, you may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. You must apply for meal benefits by filling out a meal application and returning it to your child’ school.

DO MY CHILDREN AUTOMATICALLY QUALIFY IF THEY HAVE A CASE NUMBER?                                                                                                                       

Yes. Children on TANF or Basic Food may get free meals without the household having to complete an application. These children are identified by the school using a data matching process. This matched list is then made available to your child’s school food service staff. The students on this list get free meals if their schools have the free and reduced-price breakfast and/or lunch program (not all schools do). Please contact us immediately if you feel your children should be receiving free meals and are not. If you do not want your child to participate in the free meal programs using this method, please notify the school.

If ANYONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD HAS A CASE NUMBER, WILL ALL CHILDREN QUALIFY FOR FREE MEALS?                                                                               

Yes, if someone else in the household has a case number, other than a foster child, you must fill out an application and send it either to your student’s school. Please contact us immediately if you feel other children in your household should be receiving free meals and are not.

BASIC FOOD – CAN I QUALIFY FOR ASSISTANCE IN BUYING FOOD?                                                                                                                                        

Basic Food is the state’s food stamp program. It helps households make ends meet by providing monthly benefits to buy food. Getting Basic Food is easy! You can apply in person at the local DSHS Community Service Office, by mail, or online. There are other benefits too. You can learn about Basic Food by calling 1-877-501-2233 or by logging on to Food Help (http://www.foodhelp.wa.gove/basic_food.htm).

WE ARE IN THE MILITARY. DO WE INCLUDE OUR HOUSING ALLOWANCE AS INCOME?                                                                                                           

Your basic pay and cash bonuses must be reported as income. If you get any cash value allowance for off-base housing, food, or clothing, it must also be included as income. However, if your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income. Any additional combat pay resulting from deployment is also excluded from income.

MY CHILD’S APPLICATION WAS APPROVED LAST YEAR. DO I NEED TO FILL OUT A NEW ONE?                                                                                              

Yes. Your child’s application is only good for that school year and the first few days of this school year. You must send in a new application unless the school told you that your child is eligible for the new school year.

WHAT IF SOME HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS HAVE NO INCOME TO REPORT?                                                                                                                                           

Household members may not receive some types of income we ask you to report on the application, or may not receive income at all. Whenever this happens, please write a 0 in the field. However, if any income fields are left empty or blank, those will also be counted as zeroes. Please be careful when leaving income fields blank, as we will assume you meant to do so.

HEALTH COVERAGE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

To inquire about or apply for health care coverage for kids in your family, please visit Washington Health Plan Finder (http://www.wahealthplanfinder.org) or you may call 1-855-923-4633.

WHAT IF MY CHILD NEEDS SPECIAL FOODS?                                                                                                                                                                                   

If your child needs special foods, contact the school/district food service office.

PROOF OF ELIGIBILITY                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

The information you provide may be verified at any time. You may be asked to send additional information to prove your child is eligible to receive free and reduced-price meals.

FAIR HEARING                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

If you do not agree with the decision on your child's application or the process used to prove income eligibility, you may talk with David Crump, Director, Student Services, 200 N Bernard, Spokane, WA  99201, the fair hearing official. You have the right to a fair hearing which may be arranged by calling the school/school district at this number 509-354-7270.


You may apply for benefits any time during the school year. If you should have a decrease in household income, an increase in household size, become unemployed, or receive Basic Food, TANF, or FDPIR (Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations), you may be eligible for benefits and may fill out an application at that time.

HOW TO OBTAIN A PAPER APPLICATION                                                                                                                                                                              

Should you need a paper application, please contact your child's school office or Nutrition Services at 509-354-7270. 

USE OF INFORMATION                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information on this application.  You do not have to give the information, but if you do not, we cannot approve your child for free or reduced-price meals.  You must include the last four digits of the social security number of the adult household member who signs the application.  The last four digits of the social security number is not required when you apply on behalf of a foster child or you list a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Basic Food), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) case number or other FDPIR identifier for your child or when you indicate that the adult household member signing the application does not have a social security number.  We will use your information to determine if your child is eligible for free or reduced-price meals, and for administration and enforcement of the lunch and breakfast programs.  We MAY share your eligibility information with education, health, and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund, or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews, and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules. 


In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by the USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; fax: (202) 690-7442; or email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.