Free & Reduced Lunch Application
RSU 9 needs all parents and caregivers to take action this school year––by taking the time to complete the confidential Meal Benefit Application, even though school meals are already free for all students.
By completing the Meal Benefit Application, you are directly investing in your child’s education and the children and families in your community. There are two ways to complete the application--online, or by downloading and printing the paper copy and returning it to RSU 9.
Return by mail to:
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, when all school meals became complementary, there has been a significant drop in Meal Benefit Application returns––meaning fewer families are filling out the application.
The family income data provided by the application informs key funding for school resources. This includes school meal reimbursements, 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 much, much more!
Federal and state government use the aggregate data from the application to distribute education funding to schools across the county and state of Maine. In other words, if there is no data to inform the needs of the community, it could result in less education funding for your local district and for Maine.
Specific programs that are funded by the data collected from Meal Benefit Application:
- Title 1 schools
- Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
- Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
- Essential Programs and Services (EPS) funding allocated directly to Maine Schools through the Maine Department of Education (State funding)
- Before/After School Programs
- Summer School Programs
- Special academic programming, and grant opportunities initiated by the Maine Department of Education (DOE)
- Teacher student loan forgiveness