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Free/Reduced-Price Meals

Shaker Heights Schools encourages all families to submit an application for free- or reduced-price meal eligibility regardless of family income. The percentage of students qualifying for meals is a data point utilized by the federal government to provide the District with certain funds that benefit all students.

Application Information

  • Shaker Heights Schools encourages all families who believe they may be eligible to apply. Review these income guidelines to see if you qualify.
  • There is no application deadline; families may apply at any time. One application must be completed for each household each school year. To minimize in-person contact and to slow the spread of Covid-19, we are strongly recommending that applications be filled out on-line instead of submitting a paper application.  
  • If you require assistance with your application or are in need of a translator, please call 216-295-5593 or email Deirdre Storms.

Apply Online

Families may apply online for free/reduced-price meals. Please review the following before applying online:

Download a Paper Application

You may also download and complete a paper application. Frequently Asked Questions are also included in the document or in the section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Expand the menus below for common questions and answers to help you with the Free/Reduced-Price Meals application process.

Who Can Receive Free or Reduced-Price Meals?

All children in households receiving benefits from the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) or Ohio Works First (OWF) are eligible for free meals.
  • Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals. 
  • Children participating in their school’s Head Start program are eligible for free meals.
  • Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.
  • Children may receive free or reduced price meals if your household’s income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Your children may qualify for free or reduced price meals if your household income falls at or below the limits on this chart

How do I know if my children qualify as homeless, migrant or runaway?

If members of your household lack a permanent address; are staying together in a shelter, hotel or other temporary housing arrangement; relocate on a seasonal basis or; children live with you who have chosen to leave their prior family or household then the children may qualify as homeless, migrant or runaway. If you have not been told your children will receive free meals, please call or email your school homeless liaison, Mr. Keith Langford at 216-295-6268.  

Do I need to fill out an application for each child?

No. Use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information. Return the completed application to:
Deirdre Storms
Service Center
3654 Lee Road
Shaker Heights, OH 44120

You may also return the completed application to the front office of your students’ school.
You will receive an email or letter of approval/denial in 10 school days.

Should I fill out an application if my children are already approved this year for free meals?

No, but please read the letter you got carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household were missing from your eligibility notification, contact Deirdre Storms, 216-295-5593 immediately.

Can I apply online?

Yes. You are encouraged to complete an online application instead of a paper application. The online application requirements are the same and will request the same information as the paper application. Go to to begin or to learn more about the online application process. Contact Deidre Storms, 3654 Lee Rd., Shaker Heights, Ohio 44120, 216-295-5593, [email protected] with any questions about the online application.

My child's application was approved last year. Do I need to complete a new one?

Yes. Your child’s application is valid for that school year and for the start of this school year. You are required to submit a new application unless the school notified you that your child is eligible for the new school year.  

I receive Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits. Can my child(ren) get free meals?

Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Please submit a completed application.

Will the information I give be checked?

Yes. We may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report. 

If I do not qualify now, may I apply later?

Yes. You may apply at any time during the school year. For example, children 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.

What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application?

You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to:
Mr. David Boyer, Director of Buildings & Grounds
3654 Lee Road
Shaker Heights, OH 44120

May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen?

Yes. You or your child(ren) do not have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for free or reduced-price meals.  

What if my income is not always the same?

List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1,000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, submit the report with the routine amount of $1,000 per month.  If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes.  If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.

What if some household members have no income to report?

Household members may not receive some types of income that are asked for you to report on the application or may not receive income at all. When this happens, please write a 0 in the corresponding field. However, if any income fields are left empty or blank, those also will be counted as zeroes. Please be careful when leaving income fields blank.

We are in the military. Do we report our income differently?

Your basic pay and cash bonuses must be reported as income. If you get any cash value allowances for off-base housing, food, or clothing, it must also be included as income. However, if your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income. Any additional combat pay resulting from deployment is also excluded from income.

What if there is not enough space on the application for my family

List any additional household members on a separate piece of paper, and attach it to your application. Contact Deirdre Storms, 3654 Lee Road, Shaker Heights, OH 44120, 216-295-5593, [email protected] to receive a second application.

Why am I being asked about giving my consent for an instructional fee waiver?

Ohio public schools are required to waive the school instructional fees for children that quality for free meal benefits. School food service personnel must have parent consent to share the student meal application if your child(ren) quality for a fee waiver. If you agree to allow your child(ren)’s meal application to be shared with school officials to see if they qualify for a fee waiver then select yes in part 5. If you do not wish for that information to be shared, then select no in part 5. Answering no to this question will mean your child will not be considered for a fee waiver. Answering this question either way will not change your child(ren)’s free or reduced-price meal eligibility.  

My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for?

To find out how to apply for Ohio Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 877-852-0010. 

Apply Online

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If you have additional questions about Free/Reduced-Price Meals or if you need help with the application process, contact Deirdre Storms, 216-295-5593.