DOE helps schools sign up families for free and reduced lunch
Statistics will affect state and local funding
CONCORD- The New Hampshire Department of Education has published a flyer to assist local school districts in signing up families under the Free and Reduced Lunch Program, and is encouraging eligible families to apply. The number of families signed up for the program in each district is factored into state and federal education funding formulas, and could impact how much aid each district receives next year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued waivers allowing New Hampshire schools to provide free meals to all New Hampshire families, but filling out the short, confidential application may not only increase the district’s state and local funding under next year’s formula, but also help districts qualify for a range of programs, including technology grants, classroom resources, and fee waivers for college applications and testing. At the request of local school officials, the Department has published a “More Than A Meal” flyer, outlining the various benefits of signing up for Free and Reduced Lunch, regardless of this year’s no-cost meals.
“The Free and Reduced Lunch Program is a lynchpin for assessing need-based aid across state and federal programs,” said Cheri White, Administrator of the Office of Nutrition Programs and Services. “We want to encourage New Hampshire families who are eligible to sign up. It won’t change this year’s free lunch programs, but it could have real benefits to New Hampshire schools next year.”
Eligible families can download the confidential, 10-minute application from their school’s website, or from the district’s food service director. They must apply through their local schools.