Nutrition Services

Free meals at school in 2022-23

All students get free breakfast and lunch in the 2022-23 school year, regardless of income status.
 

This is a result of a federal school meal funding option that allows school districts with high eligibility for free- and reduced-price meals to provide free meals to all students. With this option, most students are also eligible for internet service discounts (depending on the provider) and other community-based discounts.

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New process replaces free and reduced-price meal application

While meals for TPS students are free again this year, we will ask most families to fill out Household Information Surveys that collect data to support supplemental education programs. This replaces the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application process. 

How can families access the Household Information Survey?

  • Students who receive state benefits such as through the SNAP program may not need to fill out a form. Families who are “directly certified,” or otherwise identified as eligible for benefits, will soon receive an email or letter from the district confirming this and do not need to fill out the survey.
     
  • Families who are not directly certified will soon get an email from the TPS Nutrition Services Department with a link to fill out the Household Information Survey. 
    • All kindergarten students will receive a paper survey from their school in September.
       
  • If you don’t receive this survey or a letter confirming your certification by the end of September, please contact your school’s office coordinator or Patsy Neas, pneas@tacoma.k12.wa.us or 253-571-3378.

Do you need a letter to qualify for low-income benefits and discounts?
If you need a qualifications letter for services such as free ASB cards or discounts on certain services, contact Patsy Neas at pneas@tacoma.k12.wa.us or 253-571-3378. 

More information 
Get more information here. 

Find out about pandemic EBT

Many Tacoma Public Schools families have recently received or will receive a summer pandemic EBT card in the mail, thanks to a federal school meal funding option for which our school district is eligible.

P-EBT benefits can be used like a debit card to buy food in most grocery stores and farmers markets, or to buy food online at Amazon, Walmart and Safeway/Albertsons. Learn more at DOH SNAP Market Match.  

Eligible families get their benefits on a P-EBT card in the mail automatically, or their benefits are automatically added to their existing card.

Questions about P-EBT cards? Wondering if you're eligible or if your card will have new benefits added? Get that information at www.dshs.wa.gov/pebt or call the P-EBT Contact Center at 1-833-518-0282 with questions. (Please note: TPS does not send P-EBT cards; the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services sends the cards). 

Student allergies

If your student has food allergies that your school does not already know about, please contact your school nurse – even if you don’t plan to have your student take school meals. Schools can make some meal accommodations for students with food allergies; ask your child’s health care provider to complete this form and submit it to your school nurse.  


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, disability, age, 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: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, 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: mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; fax: (202) 690-7442; or email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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Additional Questions? 

(253) 571-3370
nutritionservices@tacoma.k12.wa.usFax 253-571-3377

Does your student have special dietary needs?

Contact your school nurse to arrange for doctor-recommended food accommodations.