Free & Reduced Meals Information

    30 Day Grace Period

    Students that were receiving free/reduced meal benefits as of the end of last school year have a 30 operating day grace period for the current school year. During those 30 days, they will receive the same benefits as last year until a new application has been submitted and processed. At the end of those 30 days, anyone that has not had a new application submitted and processed will be responsible for paying the full price for school meals. Any new student, brand new to the district will pay full price for school meals until an application has been turned in and processed by the Food Service Department. (Example: School starts 8/12/19 and the 30 day grace period will end on 9/24/19, if an application has not been received.)

    Application Processing Time

    While we do try to process applications as soon as we get them, please be aware that we do have 10 days, from the time they are received by the Food Service Department, to finish processing your application. Sending them back to school with your child is fine, but it can cause a delay in processing and approving. Incomplete applications also slow down the approval process. Please make plans to send money with your child or to pack a lunch for them until your application has been approved. Also, if you could turn in the applications to the Cafeteria Manager at your school or the schools front office, it would alleviate issues of applications left on teacher’s desks, backpacks, etc.

    Apply Online

    You can now apply for free/reduced meal benefits online by visiting This gets your application sent directly to the Food Service Office and, in most cases, is processed the very same day it is submitted. This puts an end to applications being left in backpacks, lockers or being lost among all the other paperwork that is traveling around the district. Mistakes that are simple to make on a paper application are less likely to happen since you are taken through, step by step.

    One application per family for all students attending Duarte schools is all that is needed, (Not one per school, if have children attending more than one school in Duarte USD). Any children attending schools outside of Duarte will need to be listed under Section D, not under section A on the Application. Income area on application needs to be filled out. Verifying that the application is signed and has social security # listed (last 4 digits) or checking the box – no Social Security #. This will help us get your application processed quicker.

    Thanks for your assistance and understanding.