- Business Advocacy
Question: If a special USDA waiver already allows all students age 18 and under to receive free meals, why should eligible parents still apply for free or reduced-fee meals?
Answer: Extra funding and Title I monies flow to individual school sites for vital student programs based on their qualified students applying for and receiving free or reduced-fee meals. Not only will schools continue to receive needed extra funding, students also receive benefits such as P-EBT, scholarships, grants, and free or $5 fees for expensive AP tests.
While some AUSD schools have a 70% rate for free or reduced meals, the district average has been 65%. This year, only 50% of qualified AUSD parents have applied. That will be a problem for their child’s school because the funding for student programs will decrease in direct proportion to the reduction in applications.
What does this mean for your school and your child? It means that in a year when all districts are already suffering the most severe education budget cuts in modern history, individual schools will also endure additional substantial funding reductions for the school site programs that students and parents count on.
By applying for free or reduced-fee meals to keep their status current, eligible parents directly impact the funding at their child’s school for vital student programs. Funding for site technology purchases, site eligibility for ASES after-school programs, eligibility for special grants, and supplemental funding for some visual and performing arts programs are a few examples of the programs affected by the reduction in parent applications for free or reduced-fee meals.
“We ask parents to remember that by applying for free or reduced-fee meals, they are helping to keep funding needed student programs at their child’s school — site programs that will be a challenge to fund without those applications,” Superintendent Denise R. Jaramillo said. She also pointed out that more parents may not realize they are eligible and urged parents to learn more.
Please apply: https://www.applyforlunch.com, or call 626-943-6590 for assistance.
Please note that the information provided on meal applications is solely used for AUSD school meal programs. AUSD does not share personal information with other federal, state, or local agencies. For more information, please refer to AUSD Board Resolution No. 16-17-16 Resolution regarding the board's Commitment to Ensure Safe Haven.