Plumas Lake Elementary School District

What's the Meal Benefit Program?

What's the Meal Benefit Program?title

Let's start by learning what the Meal Benefit Program is, and how it affects your students and our schools.
The Meal Benefit Program is commonly called the Free or Reduced Meal Program.  Families can apply for reduced priced meals by submitting an application to the Nutrition Services Department at the District Office, or by being "Directly Certified" by the State as eligible for reduced priced meals.
Applications are available all year long and can be found at each of our three schools, at the District Office, and here on our website.  To download an application, click here.
When an application is approved, students are eligible for either Reduced Priced Meals or Free Priced Meals.  No matter which level of benefit, it covers one breakfast and one lunch meal for each approved student each school day.  That's a huge help!
What are the levels of benefit?

What are the levels of benefit?title

Approved applications are qualified for either Reduced Priced Meals or Free Priced Meals.
Based Priced Meals menu prices are:
$2.00 for student breakfast
$2.75 for student lunch
Reduced Priced Meals menu prices are:
$0.00 for student breakfast
$0.40 for student lunch
Free Priced Meals menu prices are:
$0.00 for student breakfast
$0.00 for student lunch
Extra purchases are available to all students at full menu cost.  A list of "a la carte" and extra items can be found HERE.
What meals are covered?

What meals are covered?title

Eligible students can pick up one breakfast meal at either morning breakfast service or Nutrition Break, and one lunch meal for themselves daily.
The first meal at either breakfast or Nutrition Break is covered by the Meal Benefit Program.  If the same student wishes to pick up another meal during the day, the second meal is not covered by the Meal Benefit Program, but is available for purchase at regular menu price.
"A la carte" and extra purchases are not covered by the Meal Benefit Program at any of the schools.  A la catre covers anything that is purchased individually.  Most commonly, you'll see an A la Carte sale on your student's transaction history if they purchased an extra slice of pizza, a 100% fruit juice item (Epic Juice), or an extra milk.
Adult meals are not covered by the Meal Benefit Program.
If you wish to eat with your student, we are happy to accommodate you!  Adult breakfast is $2.50 and adult lunch is $3.25.
Who's covered?

Who's covered?title

The application asks you to write down all the names of all the children under 18 living in your household.  If your application is approved, all the students listed on the application who attend the Plumas Lake Elementary School District are covered.
The approval letter will list all the students currently attending our school district, and the level of benefit they are qualified for.  
If your approval letter is not listing students who live in your house, contact the Nutrition Services Manager's office immediately to make sure everyone can get covered!
How long is the application good for?

How long is the application good for?title

The applications expire each year - they're like yogurt!
We ask families to help us keep the best records, and avoid interruptions in Meal Benefit by filling out a new application each school year along with other "back to school" forms in the Welcome Packet.
There is a grace period each year for returning students.  This grace period is to make sure families have enough time to fill out a new application.  The grace period is for 30 school days.
Students who are new to the school district do not have a grace period.  This is because we did not know the students last year!  Help get your students set up with Meal Benefits quickly by turning in a completed application as soon as possible.
Once an application is approved, it is good for the rest of the school year!  Meal Benefits can start for approved students on the date the application is signed.
How do I know if we qualify?

How do I know if we qualify?title

Meal Benefit eligibility is based on your household data.  You'll fill out the names of everyone who lives in your house, even if they don't go to school in our district.  You'll also fill out income information for your household, or write down a case number if your household receives another form of benefit, likeCalFRESH.
Your application can only be processed at the District Office by the Nutrition Services Manager.  To get your application processed quickly, return the completed application directly to the District Office.  You can also return the application to the school sites where the application will be transported to the District Office using our secure InterDistrict Mail system.
Once your application has been processed, you will receive a letter in the mail stating what your students are qualified for, or the reason why we were unable to qualify your household.
You can call the Nutrition Services Manager's office at the District Office at any time to check the status of your family's application.
What's Direct Certification?

What's Direct Certification?title

If your family has been Directly Certified, it means you do not need to fill out an application for the school year!
Families will receive a letter in the mail stating if their students are eligible for the Meal Benefit Program, just like if they had filled out an application.
Verification Policy of Free and Reduced Lunches

Verification Policy of Free and Reduced Lunchestitle

Below is a link to information regarding the policy on verification of free and reduced priced meals. Please be ensured that our district follows all guidelines set forth regarding the National School Lunch Program. If you have any questions regarding the demographics of our district please feel free to contact our Food Services Manager, April Mackill.  

Verification Policy
USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

USDA Non-Discrimination Statementtitle

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race,

color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.


To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992.  Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:


(1)        mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

 Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;


(2)        fax: (202) 690-7442; or


(3)        email:


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.