Free & Reduced Information
Thanks to a new Maine state law effective in the 2022-2023 school year, school meals for all students are free, regardless of their family's income. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal funding enabled every student to receive free meals regardless of family income, resulting in fewer families completing free-and-reduced-meal paperwork.
Prior to the pandemic, completed paperwork showed that approximately 50 percent of PPS students qualified for free or reduced-price meals. For many food-insecure students, school meals comprise a crucial portion of the food they consume daily. We partner with FoodCorps, Cultivating Community, school garden coaches, local farms and providers, Let’s Go, AmeriCorps, Food Fuels Learning, SNAP-Ed, Full Plates Full Potential and others to serve community needs in fun and creative ways.
Although all children now receive free meals, it still is very important for parents and guardians to continue to fill out the school meals free-and-reduced meals application.
The Portland Public Schools uses the information from that application to get a sense of our community's needs and so we can maximize federal reimbursements. Completing the applications will also make sure our school district gets the right amount of federal education funding. The family income data not only helps us receive school meal reimbursements, but also funding for Title I programs, funding and resources for after-school programs, funding provided to schools from the Maine State Legislature for essential programs and services at school, funding for special education, teacher loan forgiveness and more!