Since school meals became complementary in Maine in the 2019/2020 school year, there has been a significant drop in Meal Benefit Application returns––meaning less 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!
The resources below can be used by districts and schools to help inform parents, caregivers, and staff members about the importance of the Meal Benefit Application in hopes of getting as many families and caregivers to fill out and return the application as possible.
- One page Informational that can be distributed to families/caregivers:
- Portuguese (Angolan)
- Chinese (Mandarin)
- Central Khmer
- One Page Informational Resource for Staff Members (PDF)
- Meal Benefit Application Promotion Letter to Families (PDF)
- MEDIA RELEASE: Call to Action for Maine Parents: Complete the Meal Benefit Application at School This Year – Even if School Meals are Free
Get Your School Administrative Unit (SAU) listed on the Web-Based Meal Benefit Application! There is no cost to Maine public school districts that participate. Check the online form to see if your SAU is listed. If you are interested in learning more, please email Paula Nadeau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternative SAMPLE Form
If after understanding all of the benefits of the Meal Benefit Application, parents/caregivers still do not want to fill it out, the Maine DOE has a less invasive SAMPLE form* that can be used by schools to help inform the State of Maine and the Federal Government of the community's financial needs.
FY22 Alternate Economic Status Form (updated 8/17/2021)
*this form will not qualify families for P-EBT benefits.