Lancaster and Northumberland public schools recently announced the policy for providing free or reduced price meals for children served under the National School Lunch and/or School Breakfast Programs.
Each school and/or central school nutrition office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party, reported and Lancaster food service director Stephanie Carter and Northumberland food service director Saunee Hamlett.
Household size and income will be used to determine eligibility for free or reduced price meal benefits. Children from households whose income is at or below the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines, maybe eligible for either free or reduced price meals.
Children who are members of households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) maybe automatically eligible for free meals. Children who are homeless, migrant, or runaway may also be automatically eligible for free meals. Foster children, who are the legal responsibility of a welfare agency or court, are eligible for free meals regardless of the income of the household with whom they reside.
Children who are members of households participating in WIC may also be eligible for free or reduced-price meals based on the household’s income.
Eligibility guidelines indicate families with one child and a maximum household income of $15,782 qualify for free meals; as do families with two children and a maximum household income of $21,398; three children, $27,014; four children, $32,630; five children, $38,246; six children, $43,862; seven children, $49,478; eight children, $55,094; and for each additional child add $5,616 to the maximum household income.
Eligibility guidelines indicate families with one child and a maximum household income between $15,782.01-$22,459 qualify for reduced price meals; as do families with two children and a maximum household income between $21,398.01-$30,451; three children, $27,014.01-$38,443; four children, $32,630.01-$46,435; five children, $38,426.01-$54,427; six children, $43,862.01-$62,419; seven children, $49,478.01-$70,411; eight children, $55,094.01-$78,403; and for each additional child add $7,992 to the maximum household income.
Application forms are being distributed to all households with a letter informing households of the availability of free or reduced price meals for their children. Applications are also available at the principal’s office in each school and at the central office.
To apply for free or reduced price meals, households must only fill out one application per household and return it to the school division. Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year.
For school officials to determine eligibility for free or reduced price benefits, households receiving SNAP or TANF only have to list their children’s name and case number. Households who do not list a SNAP or TANF case number, including WIC households, must list the names of all household members, the amount and frequency of the income received by each household member, and the last four digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application.
Under the provisions of the free and reduced price meal policy, the food service directors will review applications and determine eligibility. An application for free or reduced price meals cannot be approved unless it is complete. Households dissatisfied with the ruling of the eligibility determining official may wish to discuss the decision with the official on an informal basis.
Lancaster households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either verbally or in writing to Dan Russell, assistant superintendent, P.O. 2000, Kilmarnock, VA 22482.
Northumberland households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either verbally or in writing to Adam Letizia, director of special education and compliance officer, 2172 Northumberland Highway, Lottsburg, VA 22511, or call 529-6134.
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