With the federal shutdown affecting many Mainers, the state Department of Education reminds the public that applications for free and reduced-price meals may be submitted at any time throughout the school year, even during a federal shutdown. If federal employees affected by the shutdown would like to apply for school meal benefits for their children, they may so do through their local school district.

To apply, a special application (find it here) can be downloaded from the Maine Department of Education’s website and submitted to your local school’s food service program.

School administrators should be aware that this is a federal application, so it may look unfamiliar, but they should accept and process it as they would their current meal benefit applications. Maine DOE's Child Nutrition office is also releasing information to remind food service staff that parents can apply for meal benefits for their children at any time.

For more information, contact Walter Beesley, child nutrition director, Maine Department of Education, at Walter.Beesley@maine.gov or 624-6875.