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GCPS families encouraged to complete Free and Reduced-price Meal Application

September 8, 2022

     Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) is encouraging families who qualified for free or reduced-priced meals in previousReasons to Complete Free & Reduced Applications graphic years, or families whose circumstances have changed recently, to complete the Free and Reduced-price Meal Application before Wednesday, September 14, in order to continue to receive meal benefits. Families that have not completed the application by that date, will be charged for school meals.

     Throughout the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has allowed school systems across the country to provide breakfast and lunch to all students at no charge to families. However, the USDA waivers expired during the summer, and students are required to pay for meals based on their individual eligibility. In order to receive free or reduced-price meal benefits, families must complete the Free and Reduced-price Meal Application and meet eligibility requirements. While eligibility ensures that qualifying students have access to free or reduced-priced meals, completion of the application does so much more.

     In addition to meals, confirmed eligibility establishes a number of benefits for individual students such as discounted or no fees for college-admissions exams and AP tests, discounted or free college applications, scholarship opportunities, and no- and low-cost access to technology and internet plans. The percentages of qualifying students at a school are used as a measure to secure additional federal funding (Title I) to support students and their education, promote family engagement, and provide additional technology and internet access. Title I funds pay for additional teachers, Parent Centers, additional learning opportunities for students, extra resources, and more.