2023-2024 School Meals Applications
As young people head back to school this fall, some families will need to complete a school meals application to ensure their child receives breakfast and lunch at no cost.
Many school divisions in Virginia participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which allows eligible schools to provide breakfast and lunch at no cost to students, without families needing to submit a school meals application. But unfortunately, not all schools are eligible to adopt CEP. Virginia has 40 school divisions that have no CEP opportunities, or CEP opportunities at a limited number of schools. In these divisions, families whose kids attend non-CEP eligible schools will need to submit a school meals application.
Our partners at No Kid Hungry Virginia wrote a very informative blog and developed a helpful resource for families to use and quickly find their child’s school meals application link. Families only need to fill out the school meals application to determine the cost of their child’s school meals if they see their local school division on the list linked above.
You should fill out your school division’s form even if you’re not sure whether you qualify for free meals. It may qualify your family for additional benefits, like discounted exam fees and college applications, extracurriculars, scholarship opportunities, and even home wifi. Filling out the form can also help your child’s school receive additional classroom resources that will support all students’ education.
Medicaid and FAMIS have been valuable lifelines for kids during the pandemic. As pandemic coverage protections end, 146,452 of Virginia’s kids are at risk of becoming uninsured. Read more about the high stakes for children when the Medicaid continuous coverage protection expires in the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families 2023 Annual State Enrollment Report.
- Learn more in this Renewal Process Flowchart.
- Stay up to date on timelines and access information through Cover Virginia at coverva.org/en/phe-planning.
- For additional help, Medicaid enrollees can visit Enroll Virginia, enrollva.org/get-help or call 888.392.5132 to make a free appointment with a navigator. Navigators can help complete renewal forms, reapply for Medicaid, or transition to new affordable coverage through the Marketplace.
- Head to Facebook to watch the recording of Enroll Virginia’s Facebook live event in English and Spanish from February 16, “The End of the Public Health Emergency and Medicaid: What You Need to Know.”
Virginia began reviewing Medicaid members’ health coverage beginning in March 2023. They will not cancel or reduce coverage for members without reaching out for updated information, but they need your help to make this a smooth process. You can take steps now to make sure you receive information you will need to renew your coverage.
What Medicaid members can do now:
Update your contact information. You can make updates:
- Online at commonhelp.virginia.gov
- By calling Cover Virginia at 855.242.8282, or
- By calling your local Department of Social Services (Local DSS office locator tool).
Review the Renewal Calendar:
- Two months before your renewal is due, you will receive a letter telling you what action is required. These letters contain important information on actions you may need to take to keep your health coverage.
- You can use this calendar to determine when you will receive your notice to renew your Medicaid coverage.
- If you don’t know your renewal date, you can call your local Department of Social Services or Cover Virginia.
Mental Health Resources
If you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text the number 988.
By calling or texting 988, you can get free, immediate help from a trained crisis worker, 24/7. If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, this number is for anyone who needs it.
988 Lifeline voice, text and chat options are offered in Spanish.
Los servicios de llamada, texto, y chat de 988 Lifeline se ofrecen en español. Para comunicarese con un consejero de crisis que habla español, marque 988 y luego presione 2. Para enviar un mensaje de texto a un consejero de crisis que habla español, envié la palabra AYUDA al 988.
LGBTQI+ people under 25 can access 24/7 LGBTQI+ support on both 988 Crisis Chat or Text. You’ll be asked if you want to opt-in to this support before you’re connected to a crisis counselor.
For more information on Virginia’s 988 services, visit https://dbhds.virginia.gov/crisis-services/988/index.html and https://988lifeline.org/
Same-Day Access Mental Health Services
Each locality has a Community Services Board (CSB) or Behavioral Health Authority (BHA), that provides what is called “Same-Day Access” or “Rapid Access.” This is a way for individuals to be seen for mental health or substance use concerns via intake, assessment, and treatment, without an appointment. Naturally, there are limitations to this process such as long wait times, however, these services are meant to bridge the gap in access to mental health services for families and young people within their community, where other barriers may exist to services.
Visit https://dbhds.virginia.gov/community-services-boards-csbs/ to find your local CSB and BHA and explore what other services they offer within your locality.