For the 2023-2024 school year, in most school districts, families will need to complete an application through their school to determine if their household is eligible for free or reduced-price school meals, as was done last year, and before the pandemic. Things to know:
- The ESEA (Title I) Income Eligibility Forms (alternate income application) cannot be used for granting a student’s school meals eligibility or Summer P-EBT eligibility, nor can the processing of these forms be covered by funds from the non-profit food service account.
- Determinations made from school meal Household Applications for Free and Reduced-Price Meals and Direct Certification can be used for AzEDS reporting.
- For sites/districts participating in a Special Provision Option on an approved cycle, the ESEA (Title I) Income Eligibility Forms may be used to collect free and reduced data for AzEDS reporting only during non-base years or an active CEP cycle and the cost of processing the ESEA (Title I) Income Eligibility Forms must be paid for with funds outside of the non-profit food service account.
- On December 14, 2022, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) announced the allocation of $6.75 million dollars for schools to offer meals free of charge to students who qualify for reduced-price meal benefits in the Nation School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP), in Arizona through June 30, 2024, or until funding has been exhausted. This funding is provided through ADE's Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) set-aside project funds. This funding will cover the reduced-price meal fee of up to $0.40 for each lunch and up to $0.30 for each breakfast for students who qualify for the reduced-price meal benefit.