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Educational Benefits (Free and Reduced-Price Meals)

  • Meals are free for students in the 2021-2022 school year, however discounted fees for activities and bussing still require the submission of an Application for Educational Benefits. Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) cards are also tied to qualifying for free or reduced benefits if they are extended through 2021-2022 school year.  Our schools receive funding that benefits all students in the district in areas beyond the lunch program when qualified applications exceed a certain percentage of the district’s enrollment so families who may qualify should still apply during the 2021-2022 school year.

    If you qualify, your family may benefit from reduced or even free price on other programs within the District including:

    ·        Athletic fees

    ·        Parking permits

    ·        Community Education fees

    ·        Field trips

    ·        Classroom items

    ·        Busing

    ·        Activities

    Educational Benefits are available for students whose family income meets requirements or for families receiving benefits such as SNAP. Students approved for educational benefits can receive one free breakfast meal and one lunch meal daily. Extra items, such as ala carte items, an extra milk, or milk with lunch from home are not free and the student must have money in their account or cash to purchase these items.

    If you think you may qualify or are interested in applying for Free or Reduced Price Educational Benefits, you can fill out an Application for Educational Benefits.  Students who qualify for free or reduced benefits may also qualify to receive discounted fees for other district expenses such as bussing or activities. All children in the district benefit in areas beyond the lunch program when qualified applications exceed a certain percentage of the district’s enrollment.

    Important Things to Note

    • Families must reapply for meal benefits at the beginning of each school year.
    • Families who receive SNAP benefits may be directly certified to receive free benefits by the state. If you have been directly certified, we will send you a letter notifying you that we have received certification from the state for your benefits.  If you do not receive this letter each year, you must reapply.
    • Families that receive MFIP benefits will need to submit an application. These applications will need to submit the case number instead of income.

Educational Benefits (Free and Reduced-Price Meals) Application Process

  • Families can apply for Free and Reduced Meal Benefits by either filling out the form online or filling out a paper application. 

    Paper applications can be picked up at each school, the District Office, or printed from the links on the right. Applications are available in multiple languages.

    Apply Online for Free & Reduced Meal Benefits


    Where to Submit Completed Applications

    You can either bring your application in to your school, the District Office, or mail it to: ISD 194, Attn: Student Nutrition, 17630 Juniper Path, Suite A, Lakeville MN, 55044. We will also accept faxed applications at 952-469-6054 or email a signed and scanned copy to

    Once received, applications will be processed within 10 days. Any charges incurred prior to approval of an application are the responsibility of the family.


    P-EBT Program

    Lakeville Area Schools families who qualify for educational benefits (free and reduced price meals) are also eligible for additional emergency nutritional benefits through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program if the application is received on or before Sept 3, 2021. 

    If your family income has been affected by the pandemic, or you typically qualify for educational benefits (free or reduced price meals) and you have NOT completed an Application for Educational Benefits for this school year, you can still apply and benefit from this program.  The P-EBT program is currently only through Summer 2021.  MN Department of Education (MDE) is waiting on guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on whether P-EBT will be extended past this summer, and if so, what the nature of the program will be. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who can get free school meals?

  • I get WIC or Medical Assistance. Can my children get free school meals?

  • Should I fill out an application if I got a letter this school year saying my children were directly certified for Free Meals based on data from the MN Dept. of Human Services?

  • Will the income information or case number be checked?

  • If I don't qualify now, may I apply later?

  • What if I disagree with the school's decision about my application?

  • May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. Citizen?

  • Who should I include as household members?

  • What if my income is not always the same?

  • How will the information I provide be kept?

  • Do I need to notify school officials if my income increases or my household size decreases after I have qualified for free or reduced price meals?

  • For questions regarding Free & Reduced Benefits, contact:

    Julie Wharton
    Student Nutrition Support Specialist


  • Lakeville Area Schools is an equal opportunity provider.