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Family Friendly Applications

EO Guidance Document #
FNS Document #
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Policy Memo (229.73 KB)
DATE: January 29, 2013
SUBJECT: Family Friendly Applications
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions
State Directors
Child Nutrition Programs
All States

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has developed a new version of the prototype Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application package. This “family friendly” application package has been simplified to include only the information that families need when first applying for free or reduced price meals in the school meals programs. The application package is intended to be an easy way for families to have an application readily available that they can submit.

The family friendly application package includes the letter to households, application instructions, the application itself, and the form to share information with MEDICAID/SCHIP for additional benefits. The family-friendly application package has been translated into 33 languages and is available on our website.

As you know, local educational agencies (LEA) and state agencies are responsible for ensuring that their applications and other household materials (letter, application, instructions, notices, and verification materials) are available in a language a limited English proficient household can understand. The newly translated package is intended to assist with that requirement.

We stated in policy memo SP 42-2012, Application and Other Household Materials for Limited English Proficient Households, dated Aug. 16, 2012, that state agencies must make FNS’ translations of prototype materials available to their LEAs and that LEAs that do not have their own translation materials must make the FNS’ prototype application package available to their families that need them. The expectation is that the state agency will provide to the LEA, at a minimum, the complete translated application package containing all the applications materials while the LEA would provide the family friendly package and any additional material as needed directly to the family.

State agencies or LEAs may choose to develop translations of their written materials (including applications submitted online). However, LEAs must accept the FNS’ prototype application if submitted by an applicant.

State agencies are reminded to distribute this memo to program operators immediately. LEAs should contact their state agencies for additional information. State agencies may direct any questions concerning this guidance to the appropriate FNS regional office.

Cynthia Long
Child Nutrition Division

Page updated: April 07, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.