During the past two years, all meals were free for students thanks to federal COVID-19 relief funds. Those funds have now expired and student lunches are no longer free. Only student breakfast continues to be free.
Meal Balance Alerts
Starting the week of Oct. 10, we will resume automated meal balance alerts. We have not used these alerts since before the pandemic, so they may be new to some of our families. Here is what you need to know:
- If a student’s meal balance falls below $0, automated messages will be sent to the parent/guardian twice per week (Wednesdays and Fridays) until the account is paid.
- If a student’s meal balance falls below negative $25, the family will receive increased communication with a follow-up from their child’s school.
- If a student’s meal balance falls below negative $50, someone from the school will personally reach out to the family.
- You have the ability to set up your own low-balance reminders or schedule auto payments through SchoolPay by following these steps:
Free & Reduced Price Meals
If you were approved for free meals, you may still have a negative account balance if your child purchased meals prior to your application being approved. You are responsible for paying off any account balance that accrued prior to starting the free meal program or for the purchase of a la carte items or non-reimbursable meals (more information on this can be found on our website).
- To see if you qualify for free or reduced-price meals, complete the Application for Educational Benefits online or call Nutrition Services at 612-798-6072 for a paper application. You can also pick up an application from any of our school offices.
- You may fill out a new application any time that your information changes, including updates to your income or the number of people in your household.
- The information you give us is CONFIDENTIAL and cannot be shared with anyone outside of our Nutrition Services department without your written consent.
- Participation in a free/reduced-price meal program cannot be considered when making a public charge determination for immigration processes.
- No student is ever denied a meal in Richfield Public Schools, nor are they provided with alternative meals. If a family fails to make meal payments, a school counselor or social worker will reach out to the parent or guardian to assess the situation and attempt to resolve any issues.
- If you are interested in supporting RPS families with meal balances, you can donate to our Sunshine Fund online through GiveMN or by sending in a check payable to “Richfield Public Schools Sunshine Lunch Account.” Details can be found on our website.
Please contact the Nutrition Services office at 612-798-6072 if you have questions about any of this information.