Free and reduced-price meals
Our district participates in the National School Breakfast/Lunch program and provides free and reduced-price meals to students who qualify based on federal government guidelines.
A new application is required every school year.
Exceptions: Prekindergarten students and students at CEP schools do not have to submit free and reduced-price meal applications. However, parents may still need to submit applications for their other child(ren).
All prekindergarten students are automatically eligible for free meals.
Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)
Schools that participate in CEP provide healthy breakfasts and lunches each day at no charge for all students enrolled in a CEP school for the 2019-20 school year.
In CEP schools, Free and Reduced-price Meal applications are no longer required*.
2019-20 CEP Schools
Important note about CEP schools and applications
*Parents, you may still need to submit a Free and Reduced-price Meal application even when you have a student at a CEP school.
- If you have other child(ren) attending school(s) other than the CEP schools listed above, you must submit a Free and Reduced-price Meal application and include the name of child(ren) attending the CEP school.
- If your child transfers to a non CEP school during the school year, you must submit a Free and Reduced-price Meal application.
Do I qualify?
Families that have a gross household income within the limits determined by federal government guidelines qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
Special program participants
Families receiving benefits from any of the following special programs may be eligible for free meals:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Families must complete the Free and Reduced-price Meal Application and include the Eligibility Determination Group (EDG) number in the application to be approved for Free Meals.
Children attending Head Start, Early Head Start, and Even Start are also eligible for free meals.
Foster, homeless, runaway or migrant students
Foster children under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals regardless of the income of their resident household.
Students who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant qualify for free meals. Please contact the GISD Homeless Liaison at 972-494-8255 to see if your child qualifies for this status.
Household income eligibility
Refer to the Federal income eligibility guidelines chart to determine if your children may qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on household income.
How to apply
A new application is required every school year. Parents should complete only one application for their family/household and list all students attending Garland ISD schools on the application.
You do not have to submit an application if:
- Your child is Directly Certified (DC) for free meals
- All of your children attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school
If you received a notification letter that your child is directly certified for free meals, you do not have to complete an application. Contact Student Nutrition Services if any students in your household are not listed in the letter.
While applying online is faster, paper applications will be available upon request at each school and the Student Nutrition Services office.
Submitting your paper application
Applications must have an original signature, therefore we do not accept copied or faxed applications. Submit the application to your school's cafeteria manager or the Student Nutrition Services office to ensure it is received and processed promptly.
Application processing and approval
Please allow up to 10 operating days for processing once the Student Nutrition Services office has received your application. Applications are approved in the order they are received. Student Nutrition Services will make every effort to process your application as soon as possible.
A letter will mailed to the home address on file letting you know if your household qualifies for free or reduced-price meals. Contact your student’s school if you need to confirm the address on file or make changes to your address.
When do benefits start?
Once your application is approved students will start receiving their approved benefit the next school day. If you owe money for meals eaten before the application was approved, you are responsible for paying those charges. The benefit is only for meals eaten after the approved date.
Students that were receiving free or reduced-price meals at the end of the previous school year will receive the same benefit for the first 30 school days of the current school year. This gives parents time to submit a new application. If an application is not received after 30 school days, your child will pay full price for their meals.
If you application was denied you may reapply later in the school year if your income changes, household increases or if you qualify for SNAP.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You must include yourself and all people living in your household, related or not (such as children, grandparents, other relatives or friends) even if they do not have income, and any children not attending Garland ISD schools (not listed in Step 1 on the application form).
Gross income is income before pre-tax and taxed deductions. Net income is your take-home income.
Your 8 or 9 digits Eligibility Determination Group (EDG) number. If you do not know your EDG number, please call the number at the back of your Lone Star Card.
No, only a SNAP Eligibility Group number will be processed.
We cannot process an application based on CHIP information. However, your household may qualify based on your household size and income. Please submit an application for review.
No. Once we have an application on file the application is accepted at any school within GISD.
The application will not automatically reinstate itself. Students will pay full price until the application is reinstated. Contact the Student Nutrition Services department to reinstate the application.
Please send a signed letter to Kimberly Speed requesting the removal. In the letter please list your child(ren)'s name, ID number(s), and school(s).