Food Service FAQs

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Children need healthy meals to learn. Southfield Public Schools offer healthy meals every school day. Students may buy lunch for $2.30 (elementary) $2.65 (middle school) and $2.75 (high school) and breakfast for $1.25. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. We sell reduced price lunches for $.40 and breakfasts for $.30.  You will receive a letter in the mail if your child(ren) are approved or denied.  Each new school year all students that wish to participate in the free and reduced-price meal program must submit a new application.

How do I apply?

Applications are sent home in the beginning of the school year. Students/families can also pick up a blank application at any school. One application should be filled out for each household, listing all household members and their income. Foster children are the only students who must have a separate application per federal guidelines. All students must have an approved application on file, each school year, in order to receive free or reduced price meals.  Parents can also apply online:  Free and Reduced Price Meal Application (Online Version)

Once the application is filled out, it can be returned to any school or returned directly to the Food Service office. The information is entered into a computerized meal application system and a notice is mailed home to the address on file. (If you have moved, please be sure to register your child’s new address at the Southfield Education Center, 746.7601) This is a computerized system, so once the application is approved, the tabulator at the school will know that the child has been approved for free or reduced price meal. Incomplete applications will NOT be processed and will be returned home delaying the approval process, so please follow all directions and fill out completely. Please note parents are responsible for meal charges until the application is processed and approved.

Apply online:  Free and Reduced Price Meal Online Application

Print the 2019-2020 Free and Reduced Price Meal Application

Address to return completed meal application forms directly:
Southfield Public Schools
Food Service
24661 Lahser
Southfield MI 48033

Who can get free meals?

Children in households getting Food Stamps, FIP, or FDPIR and most foster children can get free meals regardless of your income with an approved application. Also, your children can get free or reduced price meals if your household income is within the free limits on the Federal Income Guidelines.  Please fill out an application.

Will the information I give be checked?

Yes, we may ask you to send written proof of income.

I would like to apply for the meals program, but am concerned that my child may get embarrassed if the teachers or other students learn that we need assistance. How can this be avoided?

The district is charged with keeping the eligibility of each student confidential. We may not disclose individual student eligibility to anyone except the students’ parents, guardians, school tabulators, or the cafeteria managers. School lunch lines are designed to maintain confidentiality by using student ID numbers. By using this system, there is no way for any student to know if a classmate’s lunch account is being charged or if the student is receiving a free or reduced price meal.

My child was eligible for free meals last school year. Do I need to apply again?

Yes, households must apply every year to determine if they are eligible. Federal income guidelines change each year, and it is likely that most household situations change each year. To avoid interruption in meal benefits while new applications are processed, student eligibility  is carried over temporarily from the previous school year until the new application can be processed in September of the new school year. Once the new application is processed, the eligibility that is determined will be in effect. Failure to reapply will result in having to pay full price for meals.

I got a letter this school year saying my child is approved for free lunch. Should I still fill out an application?

The State of Michigan sends an electronic database of students’ who are receiving Food Stamps. Approval letters are generated from this database. If you receive a letter stating your child has been approved for the 2019-2020 school year, then you do not need to complete an application. Please note if you do not receive a letter for every child in your household, then you will need to contact our office at 248.746.8518 so that he/she can be approved for free meals. (Siblings and kindergarten students are sometimes omitted from the State database)

Can homeless, runaway, and migrant children get free meals?

Please call  248-746-7601 - homeless liaison or migrant coordinator, to see if your child(ren) qualify, if you have not been informed that they will get free meals.

My child brought an Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals form home and said I must complete and return it to school. Are all families required to fill out the application?

No. Families are not required to fill out the applications. Only families who need assistance and fall within the federally set income guidelines should apply (If they attend a non CEP School).  Applications are automatically sent home with students within the first few days of school. Guidelines are printed on the back of the application to help parents/guardians determine if they might qualify for the program.

Why was my child’s application determined to be not eligible for the program?

Applications are evaluated solely on the number of household members and gross income—no other circumstances can be considered. If you believe your gross income (amount before deductions) is at or less than the maximum income limits for you household size that is listed on the back of the application, you should contact the Food Service Office to be certain that you have completed your application correctly.

My family situation has changed, can I reapply to the program?

Yes, please complete a new application. Families whose household situations change may reapply at any time during the school year.

How can I contact the Food and Nutrition Services to discuss the Free and Reduced Price Meals program?

The main phone number for the Southfield Public Schools Food Service Program for Free and Reduced Price Meals is 248.746.8518.