Frequently Asked Questions

-Updated Information Regarding 2023-2024 School Meals- 

In order to receive free or reduced meals, parents will need to complete a new free and reduced application for the 2023-2024 school year. The reduced price for lunch is $.40 and breakfast is $.30. Elementary lunch prices are $2.50 and secondary meal prices are $2.75. Breakfast is $1.75 for all grade levels. Please visit your schools website for free and reduced applications and to see if your child's school will be participating in the Community Eligibility Provision.  See updated information regarding 2023-2024 school meals by clicking on the FNS Back to School Newsletter here. 

Who can get free meals?

The below applies if you have received notification from the Food & Nutrition Services office. 

Do I need to fill out a Free & Reduced Application if my child attends a school participating in CEP?

No. You do not need to fill out a Free and Reduced Application for your child that is attending a CEP school.

If I have children attending non CEP schools in Clay County do I need to fill out a Free & Reduced Application?

Yes, You need to fill out an application for any children that are not attending a CEP school.

If my child transfers from a school participating in the CEP program to a non CEP school are they still free?

No. You will need to fill out a Free and Reduced Application.

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.

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.

Who can get reduced meals?

How will the HHFKA change what is offered in our school cafeterias?


Students are allowed to go into the negative up to $10,  if they forget their lunch money. It is free to set up an account with “MySchoolBucks,” an on-line service. You may receive low balance notifications, set-up automatic payments and view transactions/payments made to the account. There is a $2.75 service fee for on-line payments. Cash/check payments can be made at the school at no charge. “MySchoolBucks” also offers a mobile app for your convenience.

What kind of restrictions can I place on my child’s account?

You may either contact Food & Nutrition Services or your school cafeteria to place restrictions on the account. We can add serving line notes such as “ala carte on Friday only”. We can also limit the amount spent each day.

What if my child has a food allergy?

If your child has special diet needs/allergies, you may visit the FNS website to obtain nutrient information of each menu item by clicking on each item on the menu. Allergen information as well as access to carbohydrate reports are provided on the interactive menus. Please note ingredients and menu items are subject to change without notice. If your child has a specific food allergy you may contact Food & Nutrition Services and speak to our Registered Dietitian.

The cafeteria staff often tells my child to pick up a fruit or vegetable for the meal to be considered “reimbursable”. Why?

In order for a meal to be considered “reimbursable” a student’s tray must contain a certain number of components-bread, fruit, vegetable, milk, meat/meal alternate. If a cashier encourages a child to pick up an extra item it means he/she is missing a component to make the meal reimbursable (if not reimbursable it may cause the meal to cost more).

Can a free and reduced application be filled out on line?

Yes, applications can be completed in the convenience of your own home. This process is safe, secure and confidential. On-line applications are transferred electronically to the FNS office. Eligibility is determined within 1 to 2 business days. If you have not received your eligibility notification in the mail, you may call the FNS office to check the status.

Do I need to fill out a Free and Reduced Application for each child?

No. Use only one “Free and Reduced Application” for all students in your household. If you are applying for a foster child, check the box on the application to indicate this.

Why do I not qualify for free lunch when my income is less that the amount on the back of the application?

The income chart on the back of the application reflects the maximum amount of income a household can make to qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Who should I include as members of my household?

You must include all people living in your household, related or not.

How do I show my income if I only work 9 or 10 months?

You may project your annual income. The prior year’s income may be used if it provides an accurate reflection of the household’s current annual income.

Will the information I give be checked?

Yes, you may be asked to send written proof of your income or eligibility for Food Stamps or TANF at any time during the school year.

If I do not qualify now, may I apply later?

You may apply at any time during the school year if your household goes up in size or income goes down or if you start getting Food Stamps or TANF.

If I transfer from another District will my status carry over?

No. You will need to complete a new application for Clay County.

Will I be reimbursed for charges that were made against my account before the application was approved?

No. Money will need to be provided until notification of the approved status.

Should I fill out an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are approved for free meals?

Please read the letter you received carefully and follow the instructions. Call the Food and Nutrition Services Office at (904)336-6856 if you have questions.

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. You must complete a new application unless you have received a letter saying your child is eligible for the new year.

We are in the military. Do we include our housing allowance as income?

If you get an off-base housing allowance, it must be included as income. However, if your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatized Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income. For the purpose of determining household size, deployed service members are considered a part of the household. Families should include the names of the deployed service members on their application. Report only that portion of the deployed service member’s income made available to them or on their behalf to the family. If combat pay is received, in addition to basic pay, because of deployment and it was not received before deployment, combat pay is not counted as income.