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Children need healthy meals to learn. Lincoln Public Schools offers healthy meals every school day. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Reduced price is $.30 for breakfast and $.40 for lunch.

If your child(ren) qualified for free or reduced price meals at the end of last school year, you must submit a new application by September 25, 2018, in order to avoid an interruption in meal benefits.

Frequently asked questions and answers:

1.   Do I need to fill out an application for each child?
No, use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information. Return the completed application to: Your child’s school or to Nutrition Services Department, P.O. Box 13, 5905 O Street, Lincoln NE 68510. On-line applications are available here; fill out the Free and Reduced Meals Application and hit submit.  

2.   Who can get free meals?
All children in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) 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 on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.

3.   Can foster children get free meals?
Yes, foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals. Any foster child in the household is eligible for free meals regardless of income. A meal application must be filled out.

4.   Can homeless, runaway and migrant children get free meals?
Yes, children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway or migrant qualify for free meals. If you haven’t been told your children will get free meals, please call Lincoln Public Schools, Linda Hix, Homeless Liaison (402) 436-1988 to see if they qualify.

5.   Who can get reduced price meals?
Your children can get low cost meals if your household income is within the reduced price limits.

6.   Should I fill out an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are approved for free meals?
Please read the letter you got carefully and follow the instructions. Call (402) 436-1746 if you have questions.

7.   My child’s application was approved last year for meal benefits. Do I need to fill out another one?
Yes, your child’s application is only good for that school year and for 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.

8.   I receive WIC. Can my child(ren) get free meals?
Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please fill out an application.

9.   Will the information I give be checked?
Yes, we may ask you to send written proof.

10. If I don’t qualify now, may I apply later?
Yes, you may apply at any time during the school year. For example, children with a parent or guardian who becomes unemployed may become eligible for free or reduced price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.

11. What if I disagree with the decision about my application?
You should call (402) 436-1746 and talk to the free and reduced official. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to: Edith Zumwalt, Director, Nutrition Services Department, P. O. Box 13, 5905 O Street, Lincoln NE 65810, telephone (402) 436-1747.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. What if my income is not always the same?
List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you make $1000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not if you only work overtime sometimes. If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.

15. We are in the military. Do we include our housing allowance as income?
If you get an off-base housing allowance, it must be included as income. However, if your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance income.

16. My spouse is deployed to a combat zone. Is his combat pay counted as income?
No, if the combat pay is received in addition to his basic pay because of his deployment and it wasn’t received before he was deployed, combat pay is not included as income. Contact your school for more information.

17. My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for?
To find out how to apply for SNAP or other economic assistance benefits, please go online at or call 1-800-383-4278.

If you have other questions or need help, call (402) 436-1746

Si necesita ayuda, por favor llame al teléfono: (402) 436-1746

Si vous voudriez d’aide, contactez nous au numero: (402) 436-1746