Family Support Services
There are many services available to district families through the Family Support Services office. They include:
Free and Reduced Price School Meals
The Forest Lake Area School District sends school meal applications home at the beginning of each school year. However, you may apply for school meal benefits at any time throughout the school year by completing an Application for Educational Benefits online using the links below. Free and Reduced Price meal applications are confidential. Your information will only be used to determine your child’s eligibility. We cannot share your information without your permission.
If you are receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or participating in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), your child will qualify for free school meals. If you are eligible for unemployment compensation, you might also be eligible for free or reduced price school meals. Please complete an application in these instances or if your household’s income falls within the guidelines below.
An application for Free and Reduced Price Meals, or more information about these programs, can be found at the district's Nutrition Services website.
Free School Breakfast
If your child qualifies for Free and Reduced Price Lunch, they automatically qualify for free breakfast at school every day. All kindergarten students in the district qualify for free breakfast.
Reduced Activity Fees
Students who are on the free or reduced lunch program are not charged full price to participate in activities. If your child receives free lunch you still need to register on FeePay. At the point of check-out the fee will be half cost or free depending on your family's level of need.
- Online Free and Reduced Application (English and Spanish)
- Hmong Free and Reduced Application (Paper)
- For applications in languages other than English, Spanish or Hmong, go to: https://www.fns.usda.gov/
Rangers Supporting Rangers Weekly Food Program
The RSR Food Program is intended to assist families in the district who have a financial need by supplementing meals on weekends and during extended school breaks. Each participating student receives a weekend meal pack containing 2 light breakfasts, lunches, and snacks every Friday during the school year.
If you would like your student to receive food through this program, please complete the online registration form.
For more information, please see our informational brochure.
School Supplies Program
Rangers Supporting Rangers School Supply Information for the 2021-22 School Year:
The Rangers Supporting Rangers School Supply Program assists families in the district who have a financial need by providing backpacks and school supplies to their students. Rangers Supporting Rangers is currently accepting registrations from families with students attending Forest Lake Area Schools for the 2021-22 school year. Online registration closes July 31, 2021.
Backpacks and school supplies will be available before school starts in August at the school your student attends. Watch for an email from your school with more information later this summer.
To register for this program:
Please click on this LINK and register for the school your student will be attending during the 2021-22 school year.
To help support this program:
Rangers Supporting Rangers is a 501(c)(3) organization. Financial donations are tax deductible and 100% of donations are used to support this project. Rangers Supporting Rangers is a volunteer organization. This program is entirely funded by grants and private donations.
To make a financial contribution:
Please make checks to “Rangers Supporting Rangers” and send to:
Rangers Supporting Rangers
8661 North Shore Trail N
Forest Lake, MN 55025
If you have questions about making a contribution, please contact Stephanie Groff at 651-307-0969, firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate school supplies or for additional information:
Please contact Tracy Angelo at email@example.com or 651-982-8110.
School Based Mental Health Program
In order to increase access to mental health services for students, the School Based Mental Health Program allows mental health agencies, with whom the district has an agreement, to provide mental health services to students within the school building during the school day.
- Confidentiality maintained
- Removes barriers of access
- Lessens time loss for parents from work and students from school
- Parents can connect with agencies directly or ask for assistance from school
Click here for resources and a printable brochure on School Based Mental Health.
Supporting Students and Families Experiencing Homelessness
According to the McKinney-Vento Act, students and families experiencing homelessness are defined as lacking a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, including students/families who are:
- Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing or economic hardship
- Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of adequate accommodations
- Living in emergency or transitional shelters
- Unaccompanied youth who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act provides students experiencing homelessness and highly mobile students with certain rights so they have access to opportunities that will help them meet the same high academic standards expected of all students in our district, including:
- Immediate enrollment in school
- Transportation to the school they attended when they became homeless (school of origin)
- Access to academic services and family support resources
- Automatic qualification for free school meals
Resources for Families
Our STEP program students have opened a Community Closet to provide free used clothing for families in need. We are ready to welcome families to come and browse and take home items they need.
All clothing items in the community closet are free. If you could benefit from this resource, please feel free to contact us and schedule a convenient time to visit.
Community Closet Contacts:
- Nicole Flaherty: firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-982-8655
- Molly Nemec: email@example.com or 651-982-8667
The Community Closet is located at the STEP Program Center (in the former CLC building). Enter through door 7, which is on the back side of the building near 3rd Ave. and 5th St. SW in Forest Lake.
- CALL 2-1-1 - United Way Assistance Toll-Free: 800-543-7709; Local: 651-291-0211 Or text your zip code to 898-211 https://www.211unitedway.org
- Bridge to Benefits provides an online tool for self-screening for public assistance benefits. By answering a few simple questions, you will be able to see if you or someone else may be eligible for public support programs. It does not ask you for information that identifies you. It’s easy, confidential and free!
P-EBT: Food Support Available for Qualifying Families
P-EBT (Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer) is a food benefit available to Minnesota families with children who would have received free or reduced price meals if schools were open. To receive benefits, your child must be enrolled in free or reduced price school meals, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP). Benefit amounts will be based on the time periods in which your child attended school through a distance or hybrid learning model during the 2021-22 school year.
If your child does not receive MFIP or SNAP and is not enrolled in free or reduced price school meals, but you think they may qualify for free or reduced price meals, submit an Online Application for Educational Benefits as soon as possible. If you have questions about your child’s free or reduced price meal status or to receive a paper copy of this application, please contact Judy Liebsch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-982-8396. If you have questions about the P-EBT program, please visit the DHS frequently asked questions website.
- Fare for All Food Support Call: 763-450-3880; www.fareforall.org or go to: facebook.com/fareforall
- Minnesota Food Helpline: 1-888-711-1151 (Helpline open M-F, 9am-5pm).Enter your address to find a list of free food shelves, discount mobile markets and free meals near you hungersolutions.org (https://www.hungersolutions.org/find-help/)
- Second Harvest Heartland: is offering assistance in applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) is a monthly financial benefit that helps you to purchase healthy food at your local grocery and convenience stores, farmer’s markets and even online through Walmart and Amazon delivery. Benefits are received through an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which you can use like a debit card.SNAP information and application assistance available over the telephone at 844-764-5513 or 651-209-7963
- MN Department of Human Services is offering on-line EBT availability to current SNAP recipients: See information HERE on how to make Online EBT Purchases through Amazon and Walmart. Participants cannot use cash assistance dollars – only SNAP for online purchasing. Participants will need to pay for delivery fees and taxes, if applicable, with another payment source (credit card or debit card, PayPal).
- Hunger Impact Partners: Free Meals for Kids Mobile App
Free Meals for Kids can be downloaded at Apple or Google Play app stores. There are free meal sites across the state at schools, bus stops, libraries, community centers and parks. The app provides location, directions to the site and hours and days of distribution. More sites are added daily.
- Download the Free Meals for Kids App to your cell phone to find free school meals near you. How it works:
- Download the Free Meals for Kids app to your cell phone.
- Use the app to find the nearest site providing meals and meal packs by GPS.
- Click on the nearby site and use the Meals Updates tab for more details.
- Share the app with friends, neighbors and on social media.
- Family Pathways Food Shelves: All nine Family Pathways food shelves have shifted to a pre-packed grocery model delivered curbside. If you or someone you know needs food assistance, please contact the Family Pathways food shelf near you.Donations of food and financial support are enthusiastically welcomed. List of most needed items.
- Community Helping Hand Food Shelf is an Emergency food shelf that may be used up to 6 times per year. Residents of the Forest Lake School District (ISD 831) are eligible to use the food shelf. Hours of Operation are currently by appointment only. To schedule an appointment please fill out the form on their website or call them at 651-464-0061.
Resources for Families in Need
Rent Payment Resources
Low Cost Internet and Phone
Mental Health Resources
Domestic Violence Resources
Other local resources