- 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 household meet these descriptions and haven’t been told your children will get free meals, please call or e-mail your district Nutrition Services.
- SOME SCHOOLS OFFER NO-COST MEALS TO ALL STUDENTS WITHOUT FILLING OUT AN APPLICATION. HOW DO I KNOW WHICH SCHOOLS DO NOT REQUIRE AN APPLICATION? You can look at the Oregon Department of Education’s website to see if the school your child is attending is participating in a provision that offers meals at no charge to all students. Children attending those schools will receive no charge meals without completing an application
- HOW DO I KNOW IF A SCHOOL IS PARTICIPATING IN OREGON EIG? Not all schools are eligible to participate in Oregon EIG. Public schools, public charter schools, and Education Service Districts are eligible.
- 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. The school cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information.
- DO I NEED TO FILL OUT A DIFFERENT APPLICATION TO QUALIFY FOR THE OREGON EIG NO-COST MEALS? No, use one meal application for both federal and Oregon EIG benefits.
- SHOULD I FILL OUT AN APPLICATION IF I RECEIVED A LETTER THIS SCHOOL YEAR SAYING MY CHILDREN ARE ALREADY APPROVED FOR FREE MEALS? No, but please read the letter you received from your school carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household were missing from your eligibility notification, contact the Nutrition Services Department at your child’s school immediately.
- 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 ODE website to begin or to learn more about the online application process. Contact ODE.SchoolNutrition@ode.oregon.go if you have any questions about the online application.
- 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 for the 30 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. If you do not send in a new application that is approved by the school 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 PARTICIPATE IN 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? Yes. We may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report. (Not applicable to Oregon EIG eligible applications)
- 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 if the household income drops below the income limit.
- WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE SCHOOL’S DECISION ABOUT MY APPLICATION? You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to: You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to your schools hearing official. (NOT APPLICABLE TO OREGON EIG ELIGIBILITY DECISIONS)
- MAY I APPLY IF SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD IS NOT A U.S. CITIZEN? Yes. You, your children, or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply.
- 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 made $1000 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 zero (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.
- WE ARE IN THE MILITARY. DO WE REPORT OUR INCOME DIFFERENTLY? Your basic pay and cash bonuses must be reported as income. 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 attach it to your application.
- MY FAMILY NEEDS MORE HELP. ARE THERE OTHER PROGRAMS WE MIGHT APPLY FOR? To find out how to apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 2-1-1- or 1-800-SAFENET (723-3638). For food assistance call 1-866-348-6479 (1-866-3-HUNGRY). In the summer time, Text “FOOD” to 877877 or visit www.Summerfoodoregon.org for free summer meal options in your area.