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    Applying for School Meal Fee Assistance

    All students who qualify for free or reduced price meals receive meals free of charge. And students approved for free and reduced meals may be eligible to receive reduced fees for the following programs:

    • Event Fees
    • Field Trips
    • Advanced Placement Tests
    • Running Start Books
    • Associated Student Body (ASB) Fees
    • Pre-College Exams (PSAT/SAT/ACT)
    • College Application Fees

    Online Application

    Instructions on completing and submitting your application are provided below. Please email the Nutrition Services Office at if you have questions or need additional assistance.

    You can apply for free and reduced price meals online with our safe, private, and secure application on PayPams. More information on the online application process (PDF)

    Online Free & Reduced Lunch Application


    Paper Application

    Download the instructions and applications below. Complete and accurate applications are required for timely processing.

    Free and Reduced Price School Meal Application and Instructions for 2020-21 (English)  

    Free and Reduced Price School Meal Application translated in:

    Submitting Applications Before the School Year Begins

    We encourage all eligible families to submit a new application for free and reduced price meals prior to the start of each new school year. This allows the application to be processed and the correct eligibility established before school starts. Families have the ability to fill out the Free and Reduced Price Meal Application online at Copies of applications will also be available at every school office and lunchroom. Completed applications should be mailed to:

    Nutrition Services - MS: 32-372 Seattle Public Schools
    2445 3rd Ave S
    P.O. Box 34165
    Seattle, WA 98124

    Applications can also be emailed to, or faxed to 206-252-0664.

    Submitting Applications After the School Year Begins

    Applications are accepted anytime throughout the school year, and can be submitted to your student's lunchroom or mailed to Nutrition Services.

    Who Should Apply?

    You should complete the Free and Reduced Price Meal Application if:

    • Your household income is SAME or LESS than the amount on the Income Chart (see below).
    • You receive Basic Food
    • You take part in the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
    • You receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    • You are applying for a Foster Child

    Income Chart

    Income Chart - Effective From July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021
    Family Size Yearly Gross Income Monthly Gross Income Twice Per Month Gross Income Every Two Weeks Gross Income Weekly Gross Income
    1 $23,606 $1,968 $984 $908 $454
    2 $31,894 $2,658 $1,329 $1,227 $614
    3 $40,182 $3,349 $1,675 $1,546 $773
    4 $48,470 $4,040 $2,020 $1,865 $933
    5 $56,758 $4,730 $2,365 $2,183 $1,092
    6 $65,046 $5,421 $2,711 $2,502 $1,251
    7 $73,334 $6,112 $3,056 $2,821 $1,411
    8 $81,622 $6,802 $3,401 $3,140 $1,570
    Each additional household member add: + $8,288 + $691 + $346 + $319 + $160

    Application Definitions

    Household Size: 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.

    Total Household Income: The income each household member received before taxes. This includes wages, social security, pension, unemployment, welfare, child support, 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 payment as income.

    What must be on the application:

    The information that is required to complete the application form varies depending on your household situation.

    Review the three household categories below to determine how your family must complete the application. Each of the categories includes a list of the specific information that must be provided for the application form to be valid and an example of how the form should be filled out for each household category.

    Instructions for households not getting any assistance:

    • Student 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).
    • Complete parts 1, 3, 4 and 5.  Parts 6 and 7 are optional
    Instructions for a family getting Basic Food, TANF, or FDPIR:
    • List all student names
    • Enter a case number
    • Adult household member's signature
    • Complete parts 1, 2, 4 and 5. Parts 6 and 7 are optional
    Instructions for households with only foster child(ren)
    • Student's name
    • Adult household member's signature
    • Complete parts 1 and 5.  Parts 6 and 7 are optional
    • 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 

    Instructions for households with a foster child(ren) and other children:

    • Apply as a household and include foster children
    • Follow the instruction for households not getting any assistance, and include the foster child's personal use income

    Additional Information

    • Proof of Eligibility: The information you provide may be verified at any time. You may be asked to send information to prove your student is eligible to receive free and reduced priced meals
    • Hearing on Decision: Hearing on Decision: If you do not agree with the decision on your student's application or the process used to prove income eligibility, you may talk with Aaron Smith, the fair hearing official. You have the right to a fair hearing which may be arranged by calling or writing Helen Jones, Nutrition Services, 2445 Third Avenue South, PO Box 34165, Seattle, WA 98124-1165, Telephone (206) 252-0675.
    • Reapplying for Benefits: 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, or become unemployed, or receive basic food, FDPIR or TANF, you may be eligible for benefits and may fill out an application at that time.

    Other Benefits

    If your student qualifies for free or reduced price meals, discounted or free school services may also be available. Ask your school for more information about benefits available at your school as benefits vary from school to school. Benefits may include:

    • Advanced Placement Tests
    • Running Start Books
    • Athletic Fees
    • Associated Student Body Fees
    • Event Fees
    • Pre-College Exams (PSAT/SAT/ACT)
    • College Application Fees
    • Field Trips