Food Services


The New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development (DHS-DFD) is the State agency authorized to administer economic assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in the State of New Jersey. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) is the State agency authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to administer and enforce the School Meals Programs in New Jersey. While DHS-DFD is the lead agency for the implementation of the special P-EBT benefit, both departments are working together to disseminate information and address frequently asked questions received from school districts. 

1.) What is P-EBT? The Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 (FFCRA) (P.L. 116-127) included authorization for a program called Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) that seeks to address food insecurity by allowing a State to provide food assistance benefits to help students during extended school closures. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) approved the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development’s plan to provide households with children eligible for free and reduced priced meals under the National School Lunch Program (NLSP) with P-EBT benefits due to COVID-19 related school closures. The Division of Family Development has been working with individual School Food Authorities (SFAs) to identify eligible children and issue P-EBT benefits. The P-EBT benefit for individuals is the value of school breakfast and lunch, which equates to $5.70 per day for each student for each day that school was closed. The full benefit amount is $416.10, which covers the 73 days that schools were closed due to COVID-19. The P-EBT program creates access to a special benefit provided through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) agency. P-EBT is a one-time benefit for families that have lost access to free or reduced-price meals because of school closures related to COVID-19

 2.) Who is eligible for P-EBT? All children who were approved to receive free or reduced-price meals as of March 18, 2020, if not for their school closure due to COVID-19, are eligible to receive P-EBT. 

 3) Where do I direct families that have questions about P-EBT benefits? If families have questions about New Jersey’s P-EBT program, they should call 1-800-997-3333 or go to NJSNAP-P-EBT.

Free & Reduced Price Meal Program Application

The Free and Reduced Price School Meal Program on-line application for 2021-2022 will be available on July 23, 2021. We highly encourage parents to complete the lunch applications online using the QuikApps Software on the Essex County Schools of Technology website located under Quick Links > Lunch Applications. Paper applications are available for download in English and Spanish located under Quick Links > Lunch Applications.   

All students in the household must be entered on one application. All information provided will be kept confidential in the Essex County Schools of Technology. If your child(ren) received free or reduced lunch in June, a new application is still required for the 2021-22 school year.

If an application is not completed by October 15th, parent/guardian will be responsible for payment of the student’s meals.  If you receive a Direct Certification letter, DO NOT fill out an application. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s school directly or send email. A list of the schools contact information is listed below.

  • Payne Sr. Tech – Carmen Colon-Burgos/ 973-412-2252 /
  • Payne Sr. Tech – Carrie Russomano/ 973-412-2255 /
  • Newark Tech– Janet Hall/ 973-412-2266 / jhall@essextech.orgNewark Tech
  • Newark Tech– Carmen Maldonado / 973-412-2227 /
  • West Caldwell Tech – Rosi Hermida/ 973-412-2243 /

English Language Version
Policy – Outstanding Food Service Charges | Policy Outstanding Food Service Charges – English

Spanish Language Version
Policy – Outstanding Food Service Charges | Policy Outstanding Food Service Charges – Spanish



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