Income scale for free, reduced lunches noted

The income eligibility scale for free and reduced meals and free milk for the 2017-18 school year has been announced.

This includes participants who are unable to pay the full price of meals or milk served in schools, centers, institutions or homes that participate in the National School Lunch, Breakfast Programs, the Snack Program under NSLP, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program or in the Special Milk Program.

The following family size income criteria is used in determining eligibility of participants for free and reduced price meals and free milk:

¯ A household of one — $15,678 per year for free lunch; $22,311 per year for reduced-price lunch.

¯ A household of two — $21,112; $30,044.

¯ A household of three — $26,546; $37,777.

¯ A household of four — $31,980; $45,510.

¯ A household of five — $37,414; $53,243.

¯ A household of six — $42,848; $60,976.

¯ A household of seven — $48,282; $68,709.

¯ A household of eight — $53,716; $76,442.

For each additional person in the home, add $5,434 for free meals and $7,733 for reduced-price lunches.

Application forms are being sent to some homes with a letter to parents, guardians or adult household members. All parents, guardians or household members wishing to apply for free or reduced meals or free milk may fill out the application form sent home by the school, center, institution or home. Additional copies of the application are available at all sites and county offices.

The information provided on the application is confidential information to be used only for purposes of determining eligibility of the participant or sharing this information with other agencies sponsoring USDA Child Nutrition Programs. An application may be submitted at any time during the school year but must be submitted annually for continued eligibility. Information given on the application may be verified at any time during the school year by school or program officials.

So that the school or program officials can determine eligibility for free or reduced price benefits, the household applying for a child must provide all of the following information listed on the application: names of all household members, the last four digits of the Social Security number of the household member who signs the application or a statement that the household member does not possess one, amount and source of income received by each household member and the signature of an adult household member certifying that the information provided is correct.

Households currently receiving food stamps or TANF benefits for children must indicate a case number for the household. The signature of an adult household member is required to certify the information provided on the application is correct.

Households with foster and non-foster children may choose to include the foster child as a household member as well as any personal income earned by the foster child, on the same household application that includes their non-foster children. Foster payments received by the family from the placing agency are not considered income and do not need to be reported. The signature of an adult household member is required to certify the information provided on the application is correct.

Eligibility status remains in effect for one program year. If there is a change in household size or income that would reflect an increase in benefits for the program participant, re-application is encouraged.

Under the provision of the free and reduced meal and free milk policy the school principal or program director will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent, guardian or adult household member is dissatisfied with the decision, he/she may wish to discuss the decision with the principal or director on an informal basis. If the parent, guardian or adult household member wishes to make a formal complaint or request a hearing to appeal the decision, he/she should contact the appropriate authority.