MDUSD seeks to increase meal application numbers or lose funding

MDUSD seeks to increase meal application numbers or lose funding

MDUSD seeks to increase meal application numbers or lose fundingConcord, CA – Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s most recent communication campaign to district families includes a call-to-action, asking families to complete Free and Reduced-Price Meal Applications and to help spread the word about their little-known significance.

The district seeks to raise awareness to the fact that these applications have more significance than just meal pricing; supplemental funding is at stake. 

To be particular, it is that each qualified free and reduced-price meal applicant translates directly to what are called, “Title I,” dollars and, “Supplemental,” dollars, which districts use to fund important educational programs. Each year, to receive those funds, a district must show the federal and state governments the number of students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals. This year, thousands of previously eligible MDUSD families have not yet submitted an application for the new year, which would mean a loss in funds to which the district is otherwise entitled.

  • Last school year, MDUSD had processed a total of 17,641 applications.
  • This school year, MDUSD has processed a total of 9,226 applications.  
  • As of October 1, 2020 the district received 2,560 fewer total applications relative to the number received on October 1, 2019. 

Pandemic challenges

The district cites COVID-19 pandemic challenges as the reason far fewer have applied this school year. In addition, the district is already providing free meals to children in its community, thanks to special provisions of the national school lunch program, so district families have not been motivated to seek out special meal pricing.

MDUSD’s estimated allocation for Title I for the 2020-21 school year is $5,457,854. Preliminary reports show the district has a 14% reduction of free and reduced-price student eligibility, which translates to just over a $760,000 potential loss (when using a simplified formula).

This reduction would also affect Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) supplemental dollars, which itself uses a formula that considers an unduplicated count of free and reduced-price eligible students, English learner students, homeless students, and foster youth.

Free and Reduced-Price Meal Applications are accepted year-round. The district’s information campaign asks its community to apply online or request a paper copy, then to retweet or share the district’s social media posts. Find more information at