Food Service - Free & Reduced Lunch Procedures

  • School food authorities, and school officials who claim reimbursement for free, reduced price, and paid meals under USDA programs must ensure that they have adequate documentation on file to support the claim.



    • Executive Director of Business Services – It is the responsibility of the Executive Director of Business Services to oversee the program at the school level and the administrative level. The Executive Director iof Business Services is in charge of the appeal process if an application is denied.
    • School Food Authority (SFA) – It is the responsibility of the School Food Authority to process all applications, notify the school lunch rooms through the food service computer network, and notify the parents/guardians of the final determination within 10 working days of receipt of the application. The SFA must verify the validity of randomly selected applications between the months of October and November.
    • Lunchroom staff and school clerical staff – It is the responsibility of the staff at the school level to date stamp and forward all applications to the SFA immediately upon receipt.



    1. Distributing applications - An informational postcard is mailed in August to each registered school household residing within the Snohomish School District.  The postcard communicates how and where to obtain an application. Applications are posted on the district website. Households should complete one application per family and may include foster children (see instructions on application).

    2. Receiving applications - As completed applications are turned in to the school, they must be date stamped and immediately forwarded to Jami Cross at the Resource and Service Center.

    3. Processing Applications- Upon receipt of a completed application, the SFA enters information into the computer and approves or denies the application. This information is immediately available to the food service staff through the food service computer network. All applications must be processed within 10 working days of receipt. New applications cannot be processed unless the student(s) is enrolled in a district school. A letter is mailed to the household stating the final determination of the application.

    4. Direct certification - DSHS will download the names of all children age birth to 20 into the OSPI’s core student record database. The district SFA will access the database monthly. All students matched on this database will automatically be eligible for free meals. The SFA will enter this information into the food service computer network and mail an approval letter to the household.

    5. Verification - The verification process occurs between the months of October and November. The SFA must verify the validity of randomly selected applications.