We understand that the many applications and forms we require can be a little confusing so we put together a list of frequently asked questions for your convenience.
Simply click on the question in bold to expand.
Can I apply online?
Sure thing, simply click here and you will be automatically at the beginning of the application.
Do I need to fill out an application for each child?
No…Complete one application for the household. List all students attending schools that participate with the Archdiocese School Food & Nutrition Program in the student section of the application. Additional children/students in the household not attending participating schools will go under the “Household Member” section on the application. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information.
Who can receive free meals?
Children living in households whose monthly income falls within the Income Guidelines released by the USDA for free meals. Children who are receiving SNAP (Food Stamps), TANF, FDPIR, and most Foster children can receive free priced meals.
Who can receive reduced price meals?
Your children can receive low cost meals if your household income is within the reduced price limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.
Can Foster Children receive free meals?
Yes, foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible. Any foster child in the household is eligible for free meals regardless of your income.
Can homeless, runaway and migrant children receive free meals?
Yes, if you haven’t been told your children will receive free meals please call (school, homeless liaison or migrant coordinator) to see if they qualify. Until a letter is received from the agency the decision of meal benefits will be determined from the information on the submitted application.
What if I received a letter this school year approving my children for free or reduced price meals?
Please read the letter you received carefully and follow the instructions. If you have received a NOTICE OF DIRECT CERTIFICATION for free meals, do not complete the application. Please let the school cafeteria manager know if any children in your household are not listed on the NOTICE OF DIRECT CERTIFICATION letter you received. Call the district (504) 596-3434 if you have any questions.
My child’s application was approved last year. Do I need to fill out another one?
Yes, your child’s application is only good for the school year you applied for and the first few days of next school year. You must submit a new application each year.
I receive WIC. Can my child(ren) receive free meals?
Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please fill out an application as determination is based on the household income and is not automatically received.
Will the information I give be checked?
Yes, we may ask you to send written proof.
If I don’t qualify now, may I apply later?
Yes, you may apply at any time during the school year. For example, children with a parent or guardian who becomes unemployed may become eligible for free or reduced priced meals if the household income is within the limits of the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.
What if I disagree with the decision about my application?
You should call the Central Office at (504)596-3434 with any questions. In addition, you may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to: Ellen Gauthreaux, Executive Director, Archdiocese of New Orleans, School Food and Nutrition Services of New Orleans, Inc., 1000 Howard Ave, Suite 300, N.O, LA 70113-1925, (504)596-3434.
May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen?
You or your child(ren) do not have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for free or reduced price meals.
Who should I include as members of my household?
You must include all people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends). You must include yourself and all children living with you.
What if my income is not always the same?
List the amount you normally receive, for example, if you normally receive $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and your income was only $900, put down that you receive $1000 per month. If you normally receive overtime, include it, but not if it is only sometimes.
We are in the military; do we include our housing allowance as income?
If you receive an off-base housing allowance, it must be included in your gross income. However, if your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income.
My spouse is deployed to a combat zone. Is his/her combat pay counted as income?
No, if the combat pay is received in addition to his/her basic pay because of his/her deployment and it wasn’t received before he/she was deployed, combat pay is not counted as income. Contact the district (504) 596-3434 for more information.
My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for?
To find out how to apply for SNAP or other assistance benefits, call 1-888-LAHELPU (1-888-524-3578) or go online at: https://cafe-cp.dcfs.la.gov.