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Free & Reduced-Price Meals

 You may complete a 2022-23 application for Free & Reduced Price Meals online which will be available tentatively August 1st; this allows us to process your application faster and provide meals sooner. Online submission ensures confidentiality and eliminates the chance of lost applications. A new application must be filled out every year (unless the student is directly certified by Social Services). Only applications for the 2022-23 school year will be accepted. Upon receipt, processing can take up to 10 days.

  • Only one meal application is needed for each household.
  • For school year 2022-2023, the cost of reduced-price meals is being waived; therefore, students approved for reduced-price meals will not have to pay.
  • Click here to complete an application.  Free and reduced-price meals application are made available in each school’s main office (excluding CEP schools) and at the HCPS Division of School Nutrition Services at Central Office.
  • There is never a cut-off for applying; meal applications are accepted throughout the school year. 
  • Applications in other languages are available through the Virginia State Department of Education.

How is eligibility determined? 

Eligibility for free and reduced-price meals is determined by a variety of methods: 

  • Household size and income. Families should complete an online or paper application to determine eligibility. 
  • Direct certification by the Virginia Department of Social Services. Households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly the Food Stamp Program) or who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits may not have to complete an application for free or reduced-price student meals. School officials will determine eligibility for free meals based on documentation, obtained directly from the Virginia Department of Social Services, that a child is a member of a household currently receiving SNAP or TANF benefits. School officials will notify these households in writing about their eligibility. Households who are notified of their eligibility, but who do not want their children to receive free meals, must contact the school. SNAP and TANF households must complete an application if they are not notified in writing about their automatic eligibility within the first 10 days of the new school year. 
  • Enrollment in a Community Eligibility Provision, or CEP school.  Households with students attending CEP schools should not submit a meals application as long as the student is enrolled in a CEP schoolCurrent CEP schools include: Adams, Arthur Ashe, Baker, Chamberlayne, Crestview Donahoe, Dumbarton, Fair Oaks, Glen Lea, Harvie, Highland Springs, Holladay, Johnson, Laburnum, Lakeside, Longan, Longdale, Mehfoud, Montrose, Ratcliffe, Ridge, Sandston, Seven Pines, Skipwith, Three Chopt, Trevvett and Ward elementary schools; Brookland, Elko, Fairfield, John Rolfe and L. Douglas Wilder middle schools; Henrico, Hermitage, Highland Springs High School and the Campus at Virginia Randolph.
  • Foster children, who are the legal responsibility of a welfare agency or court. These children are eligible for free meals regardless of the income of the household with whom they reside. 
  • Children who are members of households receiving SNAP or TANF benefits. These children may be automatically eligible for free meals.   
  • Children who are homeless, migrant or runaways, who may also be automatically eligible for free meals. 
  • Children who are members of households participating in the USDA’s Women, Infants and Children program, or WIC. These children may also be eligible for free or reduced-price meals based on the household’s income. 

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meals policy, the HCPS School Nutrition Services office will review applications and determine eligibility. An application cannot be approved unless it is complete. Households dissatisfied with the ruling may wish to discuss the decision with the Nutrition Services Office on an informal basis. Households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either verbally or in writing to: Dr. Amy E. Cashwell, 3820 Nine Mile Road, Henrico, VA 23223, 804-652-3717. 

Other details about free and reduced-price meals: 

  • For school officials to determine eligibility for free or reduced-price benefits, households receiving SNAP or TANF benefits only need to list their children’s name and the SNAP or TANF case number, and an adult household member must sign the application. Households that don’t list a SNAP or TANF case number — including WIC households — must list the names of all household members, the amount and frequency of the income received by each household member, and the last four digits of the social security number of the adult household member who signs the application. If the household member does not have a social security number, the household member must indicate that a social security number is not available. The application must be signed by an adult household member to be approved. 
  • Households may apply for free or reduced-price meals at any time during the school year. If a household is not eligible now but has a change, such as a decrease in household income, an increase in household size, becomes unemployed or qualifies for SNAP or TANF, the household should contact the school for an application. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below federal income eligibility guidelines.