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Apply for Free/Reduced Meals

graphic with lunch

For the last two years, all students have enjoyed free breakfast and lunch at school through the federally funded Universal School Meals Program. Unfortunately, the USDA did not renew this waiver and meal charges are set to return for students beginning with the 2022-23 school year. However, some families may still qualify for free or reduced meals, but the time is now to take action. 

Fill out the application online at https://otsego.familyportal.cloud/Simply register your child at this link, then click on BENEFITS to fill out the application. (The log in is the same as Send Money to School site used previously.)

The 2022-23 Free & Reduced Meal application is now open and Otsego Public Schools is encouraging all families, whether you think you qualify or not, to complete the form. It can be filled out online or by paper.

“My biggest concern this school year is for the families we know rely on free and reduced lunches not being able to get them simply because they did not fill out the free and reduced form,” says Julie Guthrie, Otsego Public Schools Food Service Coordinator. “Families rely on it now even more so than ever. The prices in the grocery stores are climbing and are expected to climb further.” 

Completing an application is confidential, takes less than 10 minutes and you only need to complete one application per family.  “The USDA has also increased the income limits this year, so even if you haven’t qualified in the past, you might qualify this year due to those increased limits.” Guthrie adds. “The key is that families need to apply before school starts because once school starts, everyone who has not filled out an application is considered full pay.”

Otsego is not raising its meal prices this year, but there is a significant savings to those who qualify; the meal charges would be as follows: 

Meal

Regular Price

Reduced Price

Free

Breakfast

$1.40

$0.30

$0.00

Elem. Lunch

$2.35

$0.40

$0.00

OMS/OHS Lunch

$2.55

$0.40

$0.00

Fill out the Free & Reduced Meal Application today! School begins August 15th. 

“I want to make the start of the school year as seamless as we can and we don’t want kids upset or families upset because that their child is getting charged for meals that first day. We also don’t want that sense of urgency for families just before school starts. The sooner families get it filled out the better so that we can take some of that stress off right before school starts and it’s done and over with. That application will carry your child through the remainder of the school year,” Guthrie says.

Paper copies can be obtained at the administration office and will be available at all of our summer meal site locations; we will also have copies at each building orientation before school. It can be returned at those sites, and the school offices once they reopen in late July. 

You can also fill out the application online at https://otsego.familyportal.cloud/. Simply register your child at this link, then click on BENEFITS to fill out the application. 

If there are any questions, please call or email Julie Guthrie, Otsego Public Schools Food Service Coordinator at jguthrie@otsegops.org or 269-694-7447.

 

Additional benefits: 

This application is about more than meals. 

Those who qualify can also receive discounts on other expenses including:

  • Sports participation fees, Chromebook insurance charges, Academic testing fees for AP, SAT, and ACT,  College applications fees

Qualifying families also increase federal funding given to the District to support our students with: 

  • Tutors and classroom materials, Social-emotional needs and counselors, summer school / intervention opportunities, and more!