The Minnesota state legislature passed the Free School Meals for Kids program into law this spring, which takes effect this September for the 2023-24 school year and beyond. Because of this law, all K-12 students attending school in person will have a free school breakfast and lunch available to them each academic school day beginning in September, excluding a la carte menu items.
However, it’s still important to fill out the Educational Benefits Application yearly. There's two ways to access the form online:
- Access the application using your EduTrakConnect (formerly SmartSchoolsK12) account.
- To bypass creating an EduTrakConnect account, access the application directly.
The form was also sent to every district household at the end of July.
Why should I fill out the Educational Benefits Application if my child(ren) now automatically qualify for free meals?
Families who qualify may be eligible for a variety of other benefits. These include free or discounted prices for the following:
- Field trips
- Community education programs
- Clubs, activities, and athletics
- Instrument rentals
- Fees, including for AP testing, graduation and more
- Device protection plans on school-provided devices
- Comcast internet for home
- Xcel Energy account assistance for electricity bills
Additionally, the state of Minnesota uses a school district’s percentage of qualifying students from applications completed and approved prior to October 1 each year to calculate each district’s funding level. School district funding impacts every student:
- Class sizes
- Number of support staff the district can hire to help scholars (counselors, social workers)
- Extra programming opportunities
Please fill out the Educational Benefits Application today to make sure your family can take advantage of these and other benefits!
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