FAQ for Online Meal Application
FAMILY APPLICATION FOR FREE AND REDUCED-PRICE MEALS 2022/2023 SCHOOL YEAR
COMPLETE ONE APPLICATION PER HOUSEHOLD. Children need healthy meals to learn. The Washoe County School District offers healthy meals every school day. The breakfast price is $1.85; the lunch price is $2.90 for elementary and $3.15 for middle and high school. Your children may qualify for free meals or reduced-price meals. There is no charge for reduced-price meals for the current school year. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process.
WHO CAN GET FREE OR REDUCED-PRICE MEALS?
- All children in households who receive benefits from the Nevada Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or Nevada Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are eligible for free meals.
- Foster children under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals.
- Children participating in their school's Head Start program are eligible for free meals.
- Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.
- Children may receive free or reduced-price meals if your household's income is within the limits of the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Your children may qualify for free or reduced-price meals if your household income falls at or below the limits according to the chart below:
FEDERAL ELIGIBILITY INCOME CHART For School Year 2022-2023
Twice Per Month
Every Two Weeks
Each additional person
- HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILDREN QUALIFY AS HOMELESS, MIGRANT, OR RUNAWAY? Do the members of your household lack a permanent address? Are you staying together in a shelter, hotel, or other temporary housing arrangements? Does your family relocate on a seasonal basis? Are any children living with you who have chosen to leave their prior family or household? If you believe children in your home meet these descriptions and haven't been told your children will get free meals, please call or e-mail the homeless liaison or migrant coordinator at your student's school.
- DO I NEED TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION FOR EACH CHILD? 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. Then, return the completed application form to the school cafeteria or the Nutrition Services Center.
- SHOULD I FILL OUT AN APPLICATION IF I RECEIVE A LETTER THIS SCHOOL YEAR SAYING MY CHILDREN ARE ALREADY APPROVED FOR FREE MEALS? No, however, please read the letter you got carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household were missing from your eligibility notification, contact Kristy McDonald, Determining Official, 585 Spice Island Court, Sparks, NV 89431. (775) 325-8431.
- CAN I APPLY ONLINE? Yes! You are encouraged to complete an online application instead of a paper application if you are able. The online application has the same requirements and will ask you for the same information as the paper application. Visit https://rocket.washoeschools.net to begin or to learn more about the online application process. For any questions, contact Kristy McDonald, Determining Official, 585 Spice Island Court, Sparks, NV 89431. (775) 325-8431.
- MY CHILD'S APPLICATION WAS APPROVED LAST YEAR. DO I NEED TO FILL OUT A NEW ONE? Your child's application is only good for that school year, and the first few days of this school year, through 9/26/2022. After that, you must submit a new application unless Nutrition Services tells you that your child is eligible for the new school year. If you do not send in a new application that Nutrition Services approved, or you have not been notified that your child is eligible for free meals, your child will be charged the full price for meals.
- I GET WIC. CAN MY CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Please send in an application.
- WILL THE INFORMATION I GIVE BE CHECKED? We may also ask you to send written proof of your report's household income.
- 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 and reduced-price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.
- WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE SCHOOL'S DECISION ABOUT MY APPLICATION? You can contact Nutrition Services. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing: Dr. Troy Parks, Chief Academic Officer, P.O. Box 30425, Reno, NV 89520, (775) 789-4608.
- MAY I APPLY IF SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD IS NOT A U.S. CITIZEN? You, your children, or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply for free or reduced-price meals.
- WHAT IF MY INCOME IS NOT ALWAYS THE SAME? List the amount that you normally make. For example, if you normally make $1,000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1,000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes. If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.
- 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 assume you meant to do so.
- WE ARE IN THE MILITARY. DO WE REPORT OUR INCOME DIFFERENTLY? Your basic pay and cash bonuses must be reported as income. In addition, if you get any cash value allowances 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.
- WHAT IF THERE ISN'T ENOUGH SPACE ON THE APPLICATION FOR MY FAMILY? List any additional household members on a separate piece of paper, and staple it to your application. 2022-2023 applications for meal benefits are available at all school offices.
- MY FAMILY NEEDS MORE HELP. ARE THERE OTHER PROGRAMS WE MIGHT APPLY FOR? Contact your local assistance office or call Nevada Hotline to find out how to apply for Nevada Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or other assistance benefits.
School Sites Where All Students Receive Free Meals for School Year 2022-2023
Community Eligibility Provision Sites
Alice Smith ES
Clayton MS Corbett ES Desert Heights ES Desert Skies MS
Dodson ES Donner Springs ES Drake ES Duncan ES Dunn ES Elmcrest ES EnCompass CHC Gomes ES Greenbrae ES Hidden Valley ES Hug HS Innovations HS Kate Smith ES Lemelson ES Lemmon Valley ES Lincoln Park ES Loder ES Mariposa Charter Mathews ES Maxwell ES Mitchell ES Natchez ES O'Brien MS Palmer ES
Risley ES Sierra Nevada ACS Smithridge ES
Sun Valley ES Traner MS Turning Point
Washoe Inspire HS Wooster HS
HOW TO APPLY FOR FREE AND REDUCED-PRICE SCHOOL MEALS
Please use these instructions to help you fill out the application for free or reduced-price school meals. You only need to submit one application per household, even if your children attend more than one school in the Washoe County School District. The application must be filled out completely to certify your children for free or reduced-price school meals. Please follow these instructions in order! Each step of the instructions is the same as the steps on your application. If, at any time, you are not sure what to do next, please contact Kristy McDonald, Determining Official, at (775) 325-8431.
USE A BLACK/BLUE PEN (NO PENCIL) WHEN FILLING OUT THE APPLICATION (PRINT CLEARLY)
STEP 1: LIST ALL CHILDREN WHO LIVE IN THE HOUSEHOLD.
They DO NOT have to be related to you to be a part of your household.
Who should I list here? All children in your household who are:
- Children age 18 or under AND are supported by the household's income; In your care under a foster arrangement or qualify as homeless, migrant, or runaway youth, call the homeless liaison at your school; Students are attending Washoe County School District, regardless of age.
- List each child's name. Then, print each child's name. Use one line of the application for each child. Stop if you run out of space. If more children are present than lines on the application, complete a WCSD paper application.
- Is the child a student in the Washoe County School District? Registered names are required for all students (as entered in Infinite Campus). Write the birth date and the name of the school the children attend. Include the birth date for all children in STEP 1.
- Do you have any foster children? If any children listed are foster children, mark the "Foster Child" box next to the child's name. If you are ONLY applying for foster children after finishing STEP 1, go to STEP 4. Foster children who live with you may count as members of your household and should be listed on your application. If you are applying for foster and non-foster children, go to STEP 3.
- Are any children homeless, migrant, or runaway? If you believe any child listed in this section meets this description, call the homeless liaison at your child's school for help.
STEP 2: DO ANY HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS CURRENTLY PARTICIPATE IN SNAP, TANF, OR FDPIR?
If anyone in your household (including you) currently participates in one or more of the assistance programs listed below, your children are eligible for free school meals:
- The Nevada Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- The Nevada Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- The Nevada Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- If no one in your household participates in any of the above-listed programs:
- Leave STEP 2 blank and go to STEP 3
- If anyone in your household participates in any of the above Nevada listed programs:
- Write a case number for SNAP, TANF, or FDPIR. You only need to provide one case number if you participate in one of these programs. Contact: The Nevada Welfare Department if you do not know your case number.
- Go to STEP 4
STEP 3: REPORT INCOME FOR ALL HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS
How do I report my income? Use the charts titled "Sources of Income for Adults" and "Sources of Income for Children" printed on the backside of the application form to determine if your household has income to report.
Sources of Income for Adults
Earnings from Work
All Other Income
- Salary, wages, bonuses
- Net income from self-employment (farm or business)
If you are in the U.S. Military:
- Basic pay and cash bonuses (do NOT include combat pay, FSSA, or housing allowances)
- Allowances for off-base housing, food, and clothing
- Unemployment benefits
- Worker's compensation
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Cash assistance from state or local government
- Alimony payments
- Child support payments
- Veteran's benefits
- Strike benefits
- Social Security (including railroad retirement and black lung benefits)
- Private Pensions or disability
- Income from trusts or estates
- Investment income
- Earned interest
- Rental income
- Regular cash payments from outside household
Sources of Income for Children
Source of Child Income
Earnings from work
- A child has a regular full or part-time job where they earn a salary or wages.
Disability Payments, Survivor's Benefits
- A child is blind or disabled and receives Social Security Benefits.
- A parent is disabled, retired, or deceased, and their child receives Social Security Benefits.
Income from persons outside the household
- A friend or extended family member regularly gives a child spending money.
Income from any other source
- A child receives income from a private pension fund, annuity, or trust.
- Report all amounts in GROSS INCOME ONLY. Report all income in whole dollars. Do not include cents.
- Gross income is the total income received before taxes.
- Many people think of income as the amount they "take home" and not the total "gross" amount. Ensure that the income you report on this application has NOT been reduced to pay for taxes, insurance premiums, or other amounts taken from your pay.
- Write a "0" in any field with no income to report. Any income fields left empty or blank will also be counted as a zero. If you write '0' or leave any fields blank, you certify (promising) that there is no income to report. If local officials suspect that your household income was reported incorrectly, your application will be investigated.
- Mark how often each type of income is received using the checkboxes to the right of each field.
3. A) REPORT INCOME EARNED BY CHILDREN
- Report all income earned or received by children. Report the combined gross income for ALL children listed in STEP 1 in your household in the " Child Income box." Only count foster children's income if you are applying for them and the rest of your household.
- What is Child Income? Child income is money received from outside your household that is paid DIRECTLY to your children. Many households do not have any child income.
3. B) REPORT INCOME EARNED BY ADULTS
Who should I list here? When filling out this section, please include ALL adult members in your household who are living with you and share income and expenses, even if they are not related and do not receive income of their own.
Do not include:
- People who live with you but are not supported by your household's income AND do not contribute income to your household.
- Infants, children, and students are already listed in STEP 1.
- List adult household members’ names. Print the name of each household member in the boxes marked “Names of Adult Household Members (First and Last). “Do Not list any household members you listed in STEP 1. If a child listed in STEP 1 has income, follow the instructions in STEP 3, Part A.
- Report earnings from work. Report all income from work in the "Earnings from Work" field on the application. This is usually the money received from working at jobs. If you are a self-employed company or farm owner, you will report your net income.
- What if I am self-employed? Report income from that work as a net amount. This is calculated by subtracting the total operating expenses of your business from its gross receipts or revenue.
- Report income from public assistance/child support/alimony. Report all income that applies in the "Public Assistance/Child Support/Alimony" field on the application. Do not report the cash value of any public assistance benefits NOT listed on the chart. Only report court-ordered payments if income is received from child support or alimony. In the next part, informal but regular payments should be reported as "other" income.
- Report income from pensions/retirement/all other income. Report all income that applies in the "Pensions/Retirement/All Other Income" field on the application.
- Report total household size. Enter the total number of household members in the field "Total Household Members (Children and Adults)." This number MUST be equal to the number of household members listed in STEP 1 and STEP 3. If there are any members of your household that you have not listed on the application, go back and add them. It is very important to list all household members as your household size affects your eligibility for free and reduced-price meals.
- Provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number. An adult household member must enter the last four digits of their Social Security Number in the space provided. You can apply for benefits even if you do not have a Social Security Number. If no adult household members have a Social Security Number, leave this space blank and mark the box to the right labeled "Check if no SSN."
STEP 4: CONTACT INFORMATION AND ADULT SIGNATURE
An adult member of the household must sign all applications. By signing the application, that household member promises that all information has been truthfully and completely reported. Before completing this section, please also make sure you have read the privacy and civil rights statements on the back of the application.
- Provide your contact information. Write your current address in the fields provided if this information is available. If you have no permanent address, this does not make your children ineligible for free or reduced-price school meals. Sharing a phone number is optional but helps us reach you quickly if we need to contact you.
- Print and sign your name. Print the name of the adult signing the application, and that person signs in the box "Signature of Adult Household Member (Head of Household)."
- Write today's date. In the space provided, write today's date in the box.
- Share children's racial and ethnic identities (optional). We ask you to share information about your children's race and ethnicity. This field is optional and does not affect your children's eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals.
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 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 www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provided 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 Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
Fax: (202) 690-7442, or
This institution is an equal-opportunity provider.