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Austin ISD Introduces ‘More than a Meal’ Campaign to Encourage All Families to Complete Meal Benefit Applications

Completing a meal benefits application is about more than just meals. The information collected on these forms helps determine the funding needs at each school and throughout Austin ISD. Just by completing a meal benefits application, families can help ensure schools receive more of the funds they need to support students. It also helps address the $30 million budget deficit facing the school district.

More than a Meal is a districtwide campaign to promote the importance of completing a free- and reduced-price meal application for all AISD families.

“Ensuring that all student have access to healthy, tasty school meals is our top priority,” said AISD Nutrition & Food Services Director Anneliese Tanner. “We encourage all families to submit an application. Applying for free or reduced-price meals is about more than just meals, it directly impacts your school’s education funding, your community and your family.”

A new meal benefits application must be submitted each school year. While applications are accepted year-round, to ensure benefits go uninterrupted, applications should be submitted by Oct. 1 to receive free- or reduced-price meals for the 2018–19 school year.

English and Spanish meal benefit applications will be provided to each campus. Applications are also available upon request from Food Services in Vietnamese, Arabic, Burmese and Korean.

In an effort to provide a more efficient way to access all food service needs, families are encouraged to access SchoolCafé—a website and app that provides access to meal applications, daily school menus and make prepayments. Families can create an account and apply for free- or reduced-price meals at www.SchoolCafe.com. The mobile app can be downloaded through the App Store, Google Play or Microsoft Apps.

To expedite the approval process of a new meal application, online applications are highly recommended. Mobile applications are available in English and Spanish.

Income eligibility guidelines are used to determine eligibility for free- and reduced-price meals administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Families who receive assistance through programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are eligible for free school meals without submitting a free- or reduced-price meal application.

For more information, parents may call Austin ISD Nutrition and Food Services at 512-414-0251. 

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In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.