Free or Reduced Meal Application Information

  • Dear Parent/Guardian:

    Children need healthy meals to learn. Deer Valley USD offers healthy meals every school day. Breakfast costs $1.50; Elementary and Middle School lunch costs $2.95 and High School lunch starts at $3.50.  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, as well as a set of detailed instructions. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process.

    1. Who can get free meals?
      • All children in households receiving benefits from SNAP, FDPIR (Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations) or TANF, can get free meals regardless of your income.
      • Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals.
      • 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 can get free or reduced-price meals if your household’s gross income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Your children may qualify for free or reduced-price meals if your household income falls at or below the limits on this chart.


    1. HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILDREN QUALIFY AS HOMELESS, MIGRANT, OR RUNAWAY? Do the members of your household lack a permanent address? Are you staying together in a shelter, hotel, or other temporary housing arrangement? Does your family relocate on a seasonal basis? Are any children living with you who have chosen to leave their prior family or household? If you believe children in your household meet these descriptions and haven’t been told your children will get free meals, please call the DVUSD Homeless, Migrant and Runaway Coordinator at 623-445-5000.

    2. Do I need to fill out an application for each child?  No. Use one Free and Reduced-Price School Meals Application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information. Return the completed application to your school cafeteria manager. You can also hand deliver or mail the application to the Food & Nutrition Department, 21421 N. 21st Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85027.

    3. SHOULD I FILL OUT AN APPLICATION IF I RECEIVED A LETTER THIS SCHOOL YEAR SAYING MY CHILDREN ARE APPROVED FOR FREE MEALS?  No, but please read the letter you got carefully.  If any children in your household were missing from your eligibility notification, contact 623-445-5166 immediately. 

    4. 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 to fill out an online application.  Contact 623-445-5166 if you have any questions.

    5. MY CHILD’S APPLICATION WAS APPROVED LAST YEAR.  DO I NEED TO FILL OUT ANOTHER 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 14, 2020.  You must send in a new application unless the school told you 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 or you have not been notified that your child is eligible for free meals, your child will be charged the full price for meals.

    6. I GET WIC. CAN MY CHILD(REN) GET FREE MEALS?  Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals.  Please fill out an application.

    7. Will the information I give be checked? Yes.  We may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report.

    8. 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.

    9. 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 623-445-5166 or writing to Joan Chiarello, Director, Food & Nutrition Dept., 21421 N. 21st Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85027.

    10. 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. Our organization does not release information for immigration-related purposes in the usual course of operating the School Nutrition Programs. 

    11. 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.

    12. 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.

    13. 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.

    14. 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. Call 623-445-6166, contact your school’s Cafeteria Manager or come to the Food & Nutrition Department, 21421 N. 21st Ave., Phoenix, AZ  85027 to receive a second application.

    15. My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for? To find out how to apply for SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 1-800-352-8401.

      If you have other questions or need help, call 623-445-5166.


      Joan Chiarello, RD, SNS


      The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information requested in order to verify your children’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meals. If you do not provide the information or provide incomplete information, your children may no longer receive free or reduced-price meals.

      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, 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:

      This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Free & Reduced Meal Application

  • To apply for free or reduced meals for the 2020-2021 school year, please either click on the picture below to fill out the application online or download and print the application here.  You may also pick up a printed version at your school's front office or at 21421 N 21st Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85027. For questions, please call (623) 445-5166. 





Application Instructions


    Please use these instructions to help you fill out the application for free or reduced-price school meals. You only need to submit one application per household, even if your children attend more than one school in Deer Valley Unified School District. The application must be filled out completely to certify your children for free or reduced-price school meals.

    Each step of the instructions is the same as the steps on the application. If at any time you are not sure what to do next, please contact the Food & Nutrition Office at 623-455-5166.

    Please use a pen (not a pencil) when filling out the application, and do your best to print clearly.


    List all household members who are infants, children, and students up to and including grade 12. This should include all children who live in your household. They do not have to be related to you to be part of your household.

    • List the first name, middle initial, and last name of each child. List one name per line, and write one letter in each box. Stop if you run out of space. If you need additional lines, attach a second piece of paper with all required information for additional children.
    • If the children attend school, please list the name of the school.
    • If you believe the children are foster, homeless, migrant, or runaway, be sure to mark the box next to the child’s name under foster or homeless, migrant, runaway.
    • Once all children have been listed, go to STEP 2.


    Do any household members (including the adults) currently participate in one or more of the following assistance programs: SNAP, TANF, or FDPIR?

    • In the gray bar, circle either yes or no.
    • If Yes- List the case number in the large box labeled Case Number and go directly to STEP 4.
    • If No- Leave this section blank and go to STEP 3.


    1. Child Income- Report all income earned by children in the household. Refer to the chart below titled “Sources of Income for Children” and report the combined gross income for all children listed in STEP 1 in the box marked “Total Child Income.”

    Child Income is money received from outside your household that is paid directly to your children. Many households do not have any child income. Use the chart below to determine if your household has child income to report. If children do not receive income, enter ‘0’ or leave these boxes empty. If you leave this part blank, it will mean that you have no income to report for any children in the household.

    Only count foster children’s income if you are applying for them together with the rest of your household. It is optional for the household to list foster children living with them as part of the household.


    1. Adult Household Members and Income- Print the name of each household member in the boxes marked “Names of Adult Household Members (First and Last).” Do not list any household members you listed in STEP 1. List one name per line, and write both first and last name in each box. If you need additional lines, attach a second piece of paper with all required information for additional household members.


    Report gross income (amount before taxes and deductions) for each adult on the same line where the name is listed. Then, fill in the circle to indicate if the earnings are received Weekly, Bi-Weekly (every other week), 2x month (2 payments per month), or Monthly.  The chart below gives examples of the different types of income for adults. If someone does not receive income, enter ‘0’ or leave these boxes empty.


    The back of this application provides the same Sources of Income charts.

     Total number of household members and SSN.

    Report the total number of people in your household (all adults and children) in the one box.

     Report the last 4 digits of the Social Security Number (SSN) for the primary wage earner or other adult in the household. You are eligible to apply for benefits even if you do not have a Social Security Number. Simply leave the space blank and check the box labeled “Check if no SSN.”


    All applications must be signed by an adult household member. By signing the application, that household member is promising that all information has been truthfully and completely reported.

    Please sign, date and print your name. 

    Provide your contact information including your address if this information is available. If you have no permanent address, this does not make your children ineligible for free or reduced-price school meals. Sharing a phone number, email address, or both is optional but providing it helps us reach you quickly if we need to contact you.

    Once the form is completed, it should be delivered to your school cafeteria manager.  You can also hand deliver or mail the application to the DVUSD Food & Nutrition Department, 21421 N. 21st Ave., Phoenix, AZ  85027.


    The back of this application provides a section for you to share information about your children’s race and ethnicity. This field is optional and does not affect your children’s eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals.

    This section also includes important information about privacy and civil rights. Please read these statements before submitting the application.

    This institution is an equal opportunity provider.