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Child Nutrition Departments Pivot Back to Application Requirement for Free and Reduced-Price School Meals

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress authorized spending that allowed schools to serve free meals for all students. Those funds are not authorized to continue for the 2022-2023 school year. As a result, Denton ISD must return to charging for school meals and offering free and reduced-price meals based on student eligibility.

Starting on Aug. 1, families are encouraged to complete the Application for Free and Reduced-Price School Meals through the School Cafe portal.

apply for School Meals

The application will determine a child’s eligibility for free and reduced-price meals and may assist in the determination of eligibility for other state or federal benefits. Only one application needs to be completed per household.   The Child Nutrition department will notify the household of the child’s eligibility. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) administers school nutrition programs in Texas and offers an eligibility calculator on the Square Meals website.
Decisions regarding payment for school meals are made at the national government level, not by our school child nutrition team. Our dedicated child nutrition staff is looking forward to serving healthy, balanced meals to students in the new school year. These meals, whether paid, free, or reduced price, offer a good source of nutrition for children.

For more information, visit our child nutrition website.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:  

  1. Mail:  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
  2. Fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442;
  3. Email: