July 22, 2015
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kathleen Britton, Child Nutrition Programs director
801-538-7513 · firstname.lastname@example.org
National School Lunch, School Breakfast, After School Snack and Special Milk Programs Free and Reduced-price Policy Announced
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah local educational agencies (that is, district and charter schools or LEAs) today announced their policy for free and reduced price meals and free milk for children unable to pay the full price of meals/snack/milk served under the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, After School Snack, and/or Special Milk programs. If the LEA participates in the program, they will have a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party. Copies of this media release are available upon request to any interested person by visiting our webpage at www.schools.utah.gov/cnp/ or calling our main office phone line at 801-538-7680.
The attached household size and income criteria will be used for determining eligibility this year. Children from families whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced price meals/snack or free milk.
When known to the LEA, households will be notified of the children’s eligibility for free meals or milk if they are members of households receiving assistance from Food Stamps (SNAP), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or the Family Employment Program (FEP). LEAs will approve these children or households for free meals through the direct certification process and no application is required for free meal benefits. All children in these households are eligible for free meal benefits and if any child(ren) was not listed on the eligibility notice, the household should contact the school to have benefits extended to that child(ren). When a child(ren) or household receives benefits under Assistance Programs or other source programs are not notified by the school of their free meal benefits, the parent or guardian should contact their school.
Foster children who are legal wards of the court or state 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. Foster children may be included as household members, if the foster family is not eligible for free or reduced price meal benefits, it does not prevent a foster child from receiving benefits.
When known to the LEA, households will be notified of any child’s eligibility for free meals if the individual child is Other Source Categorically Eligible because the child is categorized, as defined by law as: homeless, migrant, runaway, enrolled in an eligible Head Start, or enrolled in an eligible pre-kindergarten class. If any children were not listed on the notice of eligibility, the household should contact the LEA or school about their eligibility through an Other Source Categorically Eligible Program or should submit an income application.
Application forms or instructions to complete an online application form for those not directly certified have been sent home including a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced price meals or free milk, households should fill out the application and return it to their school or district office. The information provided on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials. Children’s names, eligibility status and other information provided on the paper application or obtained through direct certification may be disclosed to certain other Federal, State, or local agencies as authorized by the National School Lunch Act (NSLA).
For the school officials to determine eligibility, the household must provide complete information listed on the application: names of all household members; last four digits of the Social Security Number of the household’s primary wage earner or another adult household member on the application, or a statement that the person does not have a social Security Number; 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. Households will be notified by the LEA of their eligibility and children will be provided free meal benefits unless the household notifies the school that it chooses to decline benefits. 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 priced meals or free milk.
For up to 30 operating days into a new school year, eligibility from the previous year will continue within the same LEA. When the carry-over period ends, unless the household is notified that their children are directly certified or the household submits an application that is approved, the children must pay full price for school meals and the school will not send a reminder or a notice of expired eligibility. Under the provisions of the free and reduced price policy, a designated approving official at the LEA 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 with the approving official. If the parent/guardian wishes to make a formal appeal, he/she may make a request either orally or in writing to the LEA hearing official by contacting the local school food service supervisor for more information. The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure.
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 or guardian. Directly certified households will receive a wavier release form 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.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)
“If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at
www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Director, Office of Adjudication
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
or by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at email@example.com.
“Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).
“USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.”
The Income Eligibility Guidelines for free and reduced price school meals and free milk are shown below. These guidelines are used by schools, institutions, and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program and are effective from July 1 through June 30 every year. The Income Eligibility Guidelines are also located online at www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/notices/iegs/IEGs.htm.
|Income Eligibility Guidelines|
|Effective from July 1, 2015 to June 30 2016|
|Household Size||Reduced price meals — 185%||Free meals — 130%|
|For each additional family member add||7,696||642||321||296||148||5,408||451||226||208||104|