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Free & Reduced Price Meals

Last Updated: 10/2/2020 1:24 PM

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Apply online for your children to receive free or reduced price school meals! Your application will be sent via a secure web site directly to Cherokee County Schools, so you don’t need to worry about filling out a paper form that could be lost or misplaced.

Applications must be filled out each school year unless you receive a letter from us telling you that you do not need to apply. All applications received prior to July 1st only apply to the 2019-20 school year.

LunchApplication.com has been designed to make it easy for you to know exactly what information you need to provide and to guide you through the process. Once your application has been received the district office will determine your eligibility and send you a letter with the results. 

Helpful Hints:

When completing your application online, be sure to have:

  • Student ID number. This is usually found on your student's class schedule.

  • Your Income Information. Give us your Gross earnings (what you earn BEFORE taxes and deductions from your pay).

  • Income information of all members living in your household.

  • Be sure to press the "FINISHED" button when you have completed your application. This will finalize your application and submit for processing and final approval.

  • If you do not have a computer at home, the Cherokee County Public Library has multiple locations with internet access and a computer that you may use.  


Children need healthy meals to learn. Cherokee County School District offers healthy meals every school day. Breakfast costs $1.60 for all grade levels; lunch costs $2.45 for Elementary students and $2.70 for Middle and High School students. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Reduced price is $.30 for breakfast and $.40 for lunch. This packet includes an application for free or reduced price meal benefits, and a set of detailed instructions. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process.

1.WHO CAN RECEIVE FREE OR REDUCED PRICE MEALS?

  • •All children in households receiving benefits from GA SNAP, the Food Distribution Program on IndianReservations (FDPIR) or GA TANF, are eligible for free meals.
  • •Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for freemeals. However, you must complete an application.
  • •Children participating in their school’s Head Start program are eligible for free meals.
  • •Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.
  • •Children may receive free or reduced price meals if your household’s income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Your children may qualify for free or reduced price meals if yourhousehold income falls at or below the limits on this chart.

2.HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILDREN QUALIFY AS HOMELESS, MIGRANT, OR RUNAWAY? Do the membersof your household lack a permanent address? Are you staying together in a shelter, hotel, or other temporaryhousing arrangement? Does your family relocate on a seasonal basis? Are any children living with you who havechosen to leave their prior family or household? If you believe children in your household meet these descriptionsand haven’t been told your children will get free meals, please call or e-mail Cherokee County, homeless liaison BethLong at 770-479-1871, or migrant coordinator Piedmont Migrant Education Agency at 770-536-5717.

3.DO I NEED TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION FOR EACH CHILD? No. Use one Free and Reduced Price School MealsApplication for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fillout all required information. Return the completed application to your child’s school cafeteria.

4.SHOULD I FILL OUT AN APPLICATION IF I RECEIVED A LETTER THIS SCHOOL YEAR SAYING MY CHILDRENARE ALREADY APPROVED FOR FREE MEALS? No, but please read the letter you got carefully and follow theinstructions. If any children in your household were missing from your eligibility notification, contact Paula Hilton at770-721-8443 or Spanish 770-721-7460; email: paula.hilton@cherokee.k12.ga.us immediately.

5. CAN I APPLY ONLINE? Yes! You are encouraged to complete an online application instead of a paper application if you are able. The online application has the same requirements and will ask you for the same information as the paper application. Visit www.lunchapplication.com to begin or to learn more about the online application process. Contact Paula Hilton at 770-721-8443; email: paula.hilton@cherokee.k12.ga.us if you have any questions about the online application.

6. MY CHILD’S APPLICATION WAS APPROVED LAST YEAR. DO I NEED TO FILL OUT A NEW ONE? Yes. Your child’s application is only good for that school year and for the first few days of this school year, through September 13, 2018. You must send in a new application unless you have been informed that your child is eligible for the new school year. If you do not send in a new application that is approved by the School Nutrition Official or you have not been notified that your child is eligible for free meals , your child will be charged the full price for meals.

7. I GET WIC. CAN MY CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please send in an application.

8. WILL THE INFORMATION I GIVE BE CHECKED? Yes. We may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report.

9. 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 and reduced price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.

10. WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE SCHOOL’S DECISION ABOUT MY APPLICATION? You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to: Kenneth Owen, Assistant Superintendent, Financial Management, 1205 Bluffs Parkway, Canton, GA 30114, 770-704-4267.

11. MAY I APPLY IF SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD IS NOT A U.S. CITIZEN? Yes. You, your children, or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply for free or reduced price meals.

12. WHAT IF MY INCOME IS NOT ALWAYS THE SAME? List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes. If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.

13. WHAT IF SOME HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS HAVE NO INCOME TO REPORT? Household members may not receive some types of income we ask you to report on the application, or may not receive income at all. Whenever this happens, please write a 0 in the field. However, if any income fields are left empty or blank, those will also be counted as zeroes. Please be careful when leaving income fields blank, as we will assume you meant to do so.

14. WE ARE IN THE MILITARY. DO WE REPORT OUR INCOME DIFFERENTLY? Your basic pay and cash bonuses must be reported as income. If you get any cash value allowances for off-base housing, food, or clothing, it must also be included as income. However, if your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income. Any additional combat pay resulting from deployment is also excluded from income.

15. WHAT IF THERE ISN’T ENOUGH SPACE ON THE APPLICATION FOR MY FAMILY? List any additional household members on a separate piece of paper, and attach it to your application.

16. MY FAMILY NEEDS MORE HELP. ARE THERE OTHER PROGRAMS WE MIGHT APPLY FOR? To find out how to apply for GA SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 1-877-423-4746.

If you have other questions or need help, call Paula Hilton at 770-721-8443 or Spanish 770-721-8460.