Downey Unified School District

Online Free and Reduced Application

Letter to Household (Use the scrollbar to view the entire letter) PRINT






Dear Parent or Guardian:
The Downey Unified School District takes part in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Meals are served every school day. Your child(ren) may qualify for free meals or for reduced-price meals. All reduced meals meals are served at no cost. Students may buy meals for the following prices:

  Breakfast Lunch
Elementary $0.00 $2.00
Secondary $0.00


Meals may be purchased in advance at the school cafeterias. Students eligible for free or reduced prices meals in June of the previous school year will maintain their eligibility for 30 school days into the upcoming school year. 

Prior year's eligibility will be honored for the first 30 days only and you must reapply by September 26, 2018. Parents are responsible for all meal charges until eligibility has been determined.

If your household receives CalFresh/SNAP (formerly Food Stamps), CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR benefits, YOU MAY NOT NEED TO COMPLETE A MEAL APPLICATION. If school officials are able to directly certify your child(ren)’s eligibility for free meals, you will receive a letter prior to the first day of school. The child’s name at school must match the county/state records exactly. If you are not notified for all of your children by the first day of school, please contact the Nutrition Services Office.

A foster care child who is the legal responsibility of the welfare agency or ward of the court may be eligible to receive meals free regardless of their “Personal Use Income” or your income. Personal use income is (a) money given by the welfare office identified by category for the child’s personal use, such as clothing, school fees, and allowances; and (b) all other money the child receives, such as money from family and earnings from full-time or regular part-time employment. You may now include non-foster children on the same application to qualify for free or reduced price meals, based on household size and income.

If your total household income is the same or less than the amounts on the income scale on the reverse side of the meal application, your child may receive meals free or at a reduced price. Household means a group of related or non-related individuals who are living as one economic unit and sharing living expenses. Living expenses include rent, clothes, food, doctor bills, and utility bills.


You must complete a new application EVERY year. Complete and sign the attached Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals, and return it to the school cafeteria, school office or Nutrition Services Office as soon as possible. The application cannot be approved and may be returned if it contains incomplete eligibility information. You may apply for benefits at any time during the school year. If you are not eligible now but your income goes down, you lose your job, your family size becomes larger, or you become eligible for CalFresh/SNAP, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR benefits, you may submit an application at that time.

A household of one means a pupil who is his/her sole support.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS (FDPIR) — Households participating in the FDPIR are categorically eligible for free meals. The FDPIR is authorized by Section 4(b) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977. Under this section, eligible households may elect to participate in either the CalFresh/SNAP Program or the FDPIR. Since households are afforded the option to participate in either program, FDPIR households have been determined to receive the same categorical benefits as CalFresh/SNAP households.

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER — The application must have the last 4 digits of the social security number of the adult who signs it. If the adult does not have a social security number, check "none" in the box next to the SS# space to show that the adult does not have a social security number. If a CalFresh/SNAP, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR case number for the child is listed, or if the application is for a foster child only, a social security number is not required.

VERIFICATION — School officials may check the information on the application at any time during the school year. You may be asked to send information to prove your income, or current eligibility for CalFresh/SNAP, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR benefits. Refer to the application for more detailed explanation.

MEALS FOR DISABLED — If you believe your child needs a food substitute or texture modification because of a disability, contact 562-469-6675 if the child needs a food substitute or texture modification because of a disability. A child with a disability is entitled to a special meal at no extra charge if the disability prevents the child from eating the regular school meal.

WIC PARTICIPANTS — If you currently receive benefits under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children - better known as the WIC Program, your child may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. You are encouraged to complete an application and return it to the school for processing.

NONDISCRIMINATION — Children who receive free or reduced-priced meals must be treated in the same manner as those children who pay full price for their meals.

FAIR HEARING — If you do not agree with the Nutrition Services Department’s decision regarding your application or the result of verification, you may discuss it with the Nutrition Services Office. You also have the right to a fair hearing. A fair hearing may be requested by calling or writing Christine Woods at 562-469-6671.

CONFIDENTIALITY — Family size, household income, and social security number information will remain confidential and will not be shared for any purpose. Information you provide will determine your child(ren)’s eligibility to receive free or reduced-price meals.

If you have any questions or need assistance in completing the application, please call 469-6674 or 469-6672.

Eligibility letters will no longer be mailed. Please log onto www.schoollunchapp.com to check your eligibility status. Please allow 10 working days for your new application to be processed. At the beginning of the school year, telephone requests for information slow the approval process.

Christine Woods
Director of Food Services

For School Year 2018-2019

Household size Yearly Monthly Weekly
1 $22,459 $1,872 $432
2 $30,451 $2,538 $586
3 $38,443 $3,204 $740
4 $46,435 $3,870 $893
5 $54,427 $4,536 $1,047
6 $62,419 $5,202 $1,201
7 $70,411 $5,868 $1,355
8 $78,403 $6,534 $1,508
For each additional family member, add: $7,992 $666 $154

The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information on this application. You do not have to give the information, but if you do not, we cannot approve your child for free or reduced price meals. You must include the last four digits of the social security number of the adult household member who signs the application. The last four digits of the social security number is not required when you apply on behalf of a foster child or you list a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) case number or other FDPIR identifier for your child or when you indicate that the adult household member signing the application does not have a social security number. We will use your information to determine if your child is eligible for free or reduced price meals, and for administration and enforcement of the lunch and breakfast programs. We MAY share your eligibility information with education, health, and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund, or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews, and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint  and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter 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: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.