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Resources and Opportunities for Families in Need

Save money on school meals, athletics, enrichment activities and more

In these tough economic times, many families are finding their finances tighter than ever. Many resources are available to help.

Free or reduced-price school meals

More than 40 percent of 4J students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. You qualify if your household income is at or below the federal guidelines, or if your family receives food stamps, TANF, or FDPIR—even if your situation is short-term, such as a temporary layoff. The program is confidential, easy, and good for both your budget and your child’s school.

Sometimes families hesitate to apply for the school meal program because they don’t want to strain their school’s resources. Not to worry! The school district receives federal reimbursement for free and reduced-price meals, and individual schools can receive additional federal funding based on how many students qualify for the program. If you fill out a form and qualify, you are helping both your family and your school.

To learn more and apply online, go to www.4j.lane.edu/nutrition/freelunch.

Other ways to save

The benefits go beyond savings on school meals. Here are just a few of the opportunities available to students and families who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.

Reduced fees for sports, activities and summer camps: Your student can qualify for fee reductions of up to 80 percent on 4J athletics and activity fees. Other organizations that offer reduced registration fees for youth recreation and enrichment programs include Kidsports,  the City of Eugene, and many others.

Low-cost Internet access and computer: Comcast Internet Essentials offers high-speed Internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax to households in which at least one child qualifies for the school meal program. Families also can buy a computer when they first enroll for a low price. To learn more, visit www.internetessentials.com or call toll-free 1-855-8-INTERNET (1-855-846-8376).

Free or low-cost healthcare coverage: Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide no-cost or low-cost health coverage for eligible children in Oregon. These programs provide health coverage for children so that they can get routine check-ups, immunizations and dental care to keep them healthy. Even if your child has been turned down in the past or you don’t know if they qualify, you may be able to get health coverage now. You do not need to qualify for free or reduced-price school meals to qualify. To learn more, visit www.insurekidsnow.gov or call toll-free 1-800-699-9075.

Free bus passes for high school students: Now that Lane Transit District (LTD) offers free bus passes to all 4J students, the previous benefit (“4J provides free LTD bus passes to high school students who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, live more than 1.5 miles from their school and do not receive school bus transportation”) no longer applies.

Aid for college-bound students: Students who qualify for the school meal program can receive a fee reduction or waiver for SAT, ACT, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests. They also can receive free additional score reports for some tests and can request a waiver or deferral of application fees at many colleges. Talk to your high school counselor to learn more.

Find other resources

More resources are available for families in need! To find other support programs, visit 211info.org or call 211 or 1-800-SAFENET.