Children/households currently approved for Food Stamps (SNAP), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, or Family Employment Program (FEP) are automatically eligible for free milk or free meal benefits through the Direct Certification process. Households will be notified by the LEA of their eligibility and children will be provided free benefits unless the household notifies the school that it chooses to decline benefits.
For the school officials to determine eligibility, the household must provide the following information listed on the application: Names of all household members; last four digits of the Social Security Number of the adult completing the application, or a statement that the person does not possess one; the income received by each household member with income frequency and income source noted; and the signature of an adult household member certifying that the information provided is correct.
Applications may be submitted at any time during the year. If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household situation changes, the family should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for free or reduced-price meals or free milk.
Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price policy, a designated approving official will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent or guardian is dissatisfied with the ruling of the official, he/she may wish to discuss the decision on an informal basis. If the parent/guardian wishes to make a formal appeal, he/she may make a request either orally or in writing to the hearing official by contacting the local school food service supervisor for more information. The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure.
Foster children who are legal wards of the court are eligible for free meal benefits. If a household has foster children and wishes to apply for meal benefits for such children, the household should complete the application.
The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only for purposes of determining eligibility and verifying data, unless a wavier releasing the use of the information for other specific programs is signed by the parent/guardian. Families directly certified will receive a wavier release form for their signature with the notification letter. The household name and address will be given to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) unless “No” is checked on the back of the application.
Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC) may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Individuals should complete an application for free and reduced price meals and return it to the school where the child is enrolled. The family will be notified of the child’s eligibility.
For more information contact Melissa Waters, Assistant Director Child Nutrition Programs at 801-538-7684.