Free and Reduced Lunch

Free & Reduced Application Process

Since 2010, Okaloosa County has been using a online software program to accept Free and Reduced meal applications.  The new program expedites the process of filing an application and can be done from any computer that has internet access.  Applications can be filled out, processed, approved and the lunchroom notified of new student eligibilities as fast as 30 minutes.  Computers are available at all school sites, or the Nutrition Center Office in Niceville for parents that do not have access to a computer.  Paper applications can still be obtained from the school sites or our office if parent would not like to use the computer program.  The online application process can be accessed by clicking this link;

Okaloosa County uses family applications format for processing meal eligibility. Parents need to turn in one (1) application per household. Applications are available in English and Spanish at all schools. Instructions for completing an English application by our Creole applicants are available in the main office of your child's school. Your family application should be given to your youngest child to return to his/her school or you may mail the form to Okaloosa School District Nutrition Center at 202-B Highway 85 North, Niceville, FL 32578.

Direct Certification

What is Direct Certification?
Under direct certification, school districts use information provided by the State welfare or food stamp offices to certify children to receive free meals. To qualify, the children's families must receive food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or assistance from the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.

How do you know if your Student is Direct Certified?
Direct Certification Letters are sent to the homes of pre-approved students. If you receive a letter for Direct Certification for one (1) student, DO NOT fill out an application for that student.

If one student is Direct Certified, in a household, are the remaining students also Direct Certified?
Eligibility for free meals is extended to all children in a household if one member has been directly certified as eligible under the Assistance Programs.  These children are also directly certified.  If you receive a direct certification letter for one student in the household, you should also receive a letter for the other children in the household.  If you do not receive letters for all your children, please contact the free and reduced program clerk for further assistance.

Application Completion Tips
What measures can I take to expedite my applications approval?

  • Use BLACK or BLUE ink ONLY

  • Print Clearly within the Red Squares

  • Use your student's name as it appears on the Birth Certificate

  • List all Other Household Members

  • Fill in Social Security Number or check box stating “I do Not Have SSN”


  • Each Foster Child must be on separate form

Why is it necessary to use BLACK or BLUE INK?
The scanning process recognizes black and blue ink the best. When an applicant uses pencil, the darkness diminishes when scanned. In the scanning process all markings in red on the document disappear. Therefore, an application submitted in red ink will be sent back to the applicant.

Why do we need to keep within the red squares?
The software is set up to recognize characters inside each red square. Hence, a lower case "g", written with the tail extending below the red square will appear to be an "o."

Why is it necessary to use the same name as it appears on the Birth Certificate?
Since the School District of Okaloosa County uses the birth date and name information from the Birth Certificate, the only way the application can be validated is by using the same information. Nicknames and family abbreviations will slow down the application process.

Why do you list "All Other Household Members"?
The consideration for approval of an application is based on income and the number of household members. Therefore, it is an advantage to list all member of the household.

Why do I need to fill out Social Security Number and sign the application?
These two sections are required fields. It is very important that these sections be completed. If this information is not filled in, the application will be returned to the applicant.

If I have more than one student going to school in the School District of Okaloosa County, do I need to fill out more than one application?
No; even the though the application process has been automated, each application still has to be validated. When more than one form arrives with the same information on it, the approval process is slowed down.

If I have a student living at home that goes to a private school, charter school, or Pre-K school, in Okaloosa County, do I include them on the application?
Yes, include them in the section #5 All Other Household Members. By including them in section #1 Student Information the approval process is slowed down 

If you would like to have a hard copy of the free and reduced application click on the link to download and print a copy of the application.        

Note: If you choose this process it could take up to 10 days to process paper application from the time they are received at the schools front office.