July 14, 2021
Maine needs all parents and caregivers to take action this school year – by taking the time to complete the confidential Free and Reduced Lunch Application through your local school, even if school meals are already free for all students. Families, schools, communities, and our state can greatly benefit from the data that is gathered from the application, and this application is important for a number of reasons.
The family income data provided by the application informs key funding for school resources. This includes school meal reimbursements, funding for Title I programs, funding and resources for after school programs, funding provided to schools from the Maine State Legislature for essential programs and services at school, funding for special education, teacher loan forgiveness, and much, much more!
Federal and state governments use the data from the application to distribute education funding to schools across the county and state of Maine. If there is no data to inform the needs of the community, it could result in less education funding for our school department.
By completing the Free and Reduced Lunch Application, you are directly investing in your child’s education and the children and families in your community.
Specific programs that are funded by the data collected from the Free and Reduced Lunch Application:
- Title 1 schools
- Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
- Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
- Essential Programs and Services (EPS) funding allocated directly to Maine Schools through the Maine Department of Education (State funding)
- Before/After School Programs
- Summer School Programs
- Special academic programming, and grant opportunities initiated by the Maine Department of Education (DOE)
- Teacher student loan forgiveness
How can I complete the Meal Benefit Application?
The application is available to be printed from the link below or on the registration link of your school’s website.
It is completely confidential. A printed version of the application is also available upon request at any school – it will also be part of beginning of year paperwork that comes home with your child.