Free & Reduced-Price Meals

Pasadena Independent School District Child Nutrition Services offers healthy meals every school day to help students start the day ready to learn. Breakfast is free in Elementary and Secondary schools.

Elementary school lunch costs $2.20 and secondary school lunch costs $2.65. Your child may qualify for free meals or reduced-price meals. Reduced-price is $.40 for lunch. If you received a notification letter that a child is directly certified for free meals, do not complete an application. Let the school know if any children in the household attending school are not listed in the letter.

The questions and answers that follow and attached directions provide additional information on how to complete the application. Complete only one application for all the students in the household and return the completed application to Mary Harryman, Director of Child Nutrition, 1515 Cherrybrook, Pasadena, TX 77502. If you have questions about applying for free or reduced-price meals call
713-740-0146 or 713-740-0093.


 1   Q.  Who is eligible to receive free meals?
  • Income – Children can get free or reduced-price meals if a household’s gross income is within the limits described in the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.
  • Special Assistance Program Participants – Children in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), are eligible for free meals.
  • Foster – Foster children who are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals.
  • Head Start, Early Head Start and Even Start – Children participating in these programs are eligible for free meals.
  • Homeless, Runaway and Migrant – Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway or migrant qualify for free meals. If you haven’t been told about a child’s status as homeless, runaway or migrant or you feel a child may qualify for one of these programs, please call the homeless liaison or migrant coordinator at 281-520-0338.
  • WIC Recipient – Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

 2 Q. What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application?​
  A. Talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to John Piscacek, Assoc. Superintendent for Finance, 1515 Cherrybrook, Pasadena, TX 77502, 713-740-0146.

 3 Q. My child’s application was approved last year.
Do I need to complete a new one
  A. Yes. An application is only good for that school year and for the first few days of this school year. Send in a new application unless the school has told you that your child is eligible for the new school year.
 4 Q. If I do not qualify now, may I apply later?
  A. Yes. Apply at any time during the school year. A child with a parent or guardian who becomes unemployed may become eligible for free and reduced-price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.
 5 Q. What if my income is not always the same?
  A. List the amount normally received. If a household member lost a job or had hours/wages reduced, use current income.

 6 Q. We are in the military. Do we report our income differently?
  A. Basic pay and cash bonuses must be reported as income. Any cash value allowances for off base housing, food or clothing, or Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance payments count as income. If housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include the housing allowance as income. Any additional combat pay resulting from deployment is excluded from income.

 7 Q.  May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen?
  A. Yes. You, your children or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply for free or reduced-price meals.

 8 Q. Will the application information be checked?
  A. Yes. We may also ask you to send written proof of the reported household income.

 9 Q. My family needs more help. Are there other programs we should apply for?
  A. To find out how to apply for other assistance benefits,
contact your local assistance office or 2-1-1.

 10  Q.  Can I apply online?

 A. Yes! The online application has the same requirements and will ask you for the same information as the paper application. Visit to begin or to learn more about the online application process. Contact Child Nutrition Services at 713-740-0146 or 713-740-0093 if you have questions about the online application.​

For more questions contact Child Nutrition Services at 713-740-0146.
The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information on this application. You do not have to give the information, but if you do not, we cannot approve your child for free or reduced-price meals. You must include the last four digits of the social security number of the adult household member who signs the application. The last four digits of the social security number is not required when you apply on behalf of a foster child or you list a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) case number or other FDPIR identifier for your child or when you indicate that the adult household member signing the application does not have a social security number. We will use your information to determine if your child is eligible for free or reduced-price meals and for administration and enforcement of the lunch and breakfast programs. We MAY share your eligibility information with education, health and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules
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