It’s mealtime 

CPS makes applying for free and reduced-price meals easier.

August 18, 2009

This year, the Household Application for Free and Reduced-Price Meals, commonly referred to as the Lunch Application, will be easier to understand and simpler to fill out. 



CPS has obtained files from the State of Illinois on students who receive SNAP (previously called Food Stamp) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits. These students will receive a pre-certification letter stating that they qualify to receive free meals at school. Their families will not have to submit a Household Application.


Who should submit a Household Application?

You should submit a Household Application if your child receives a blank application and:


  • You would like to apply for free or reduced-price meals for your child.
  • There is more than one student in your household going to the same school, and one or more of them does not bring home a pre-certification letter.
  • You received SNAP or TANF benefits previously but no longer do so and would like to apply for free or reduced-price meals for your child on the basis of your income.


CPS receives federal funds for each qualifying application, so even if you are not interested in receiving free or reduced-price meals, please fill out an application.


Household Application for Free and Reduced-Price Meals


  • Read the instructions. Be sure to complete the application in its entirety, including the Opt Out  form on page 3 of the application.
  • Print clearly.
  • If you receive SNAP or TANF benefits, provide your Department of Human Services’ (DHS) case number(s).
  • If you are applying on the basis of income, provide accurate amounts of all monies received by members of your household. The figures should reflect gross income (before taxes are deducted) and the frequency the money is received (weekly, monthly, etc.).
  • Sign and date the application in part 6, providing your address and daytime phone number.


Questions about applying?

The Household Application should answer most of the questions you may have about applying.  However, if you have a question that is not answered or need help filling out the application, contact the application designee at your child’s school.


When should you apply?

Your child will receive a packet at the beginning of the school year containing either a letter stating he or she is pre-certified for free meals or an application for free or reduced-price meals. If your child’s packet contains an application, fill it out and return it to your child’s school. The school will evaluate the application and inform you of your child’s meal status for the 2009-2010 school year.


2008-2009 meal status

Your child’s meal status from the 2008-2009 school year will expire at the end of the first month of school. To extend those benefits or apply for new benefits, you must submit a new application.


How much are full-price and reduced-price meals?

The prices for school meals will be the same as those in effect during the previous school year. 



  • Breakfast: No charge to students
  • Elementary lunch: $2.25
  • High school lunch: $2.50



For both elementary and high schools, reduced-price breakfast is $.30 and reduced-price lunch is $.40.


Learn more about our Nutrition programs.



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