8520 - Free and Reduced Price Food Services


Adoption Date: 4/5/2001, Revised: 6/13/2013; 03/19/2015 
8000 - Support Services

8520 Free and Reduced Price Food Services

The Board of Education recognizes that the nutrition of District students is an important factor in their educational progress. The Board therefore shall participate in federally funded school lunch programs, and shall provide free or reduced price meal services to qualified District students.

Availability, Application and Notification

Notice of the availability of the free and reduced price meal programs will be sent to the homes of students, local media, the local unemployment office and large employers experiencing layoffs in the area from which the District draws its attendance. Any child who is a member of a family unit whose income is below the federally established scale shall be eligible to receive such services.

To apply for the free or reduced price meal program:

a. Application forms will be available in the main office of each school building and on the District website and can be completed and submitted at any time during the year.

b. Completed forms must be submitted to the Director of Food Services prior to any determination of eligibility.

c.  The parent or guardian will be informed of the determination within one week of receiving a properly completed application.

Applications will be kept confidential.

Upon written request the Superintendent of Schools, or his/her designee, will hear appeals of determinations regarding such services in compliance with federal regulations governing the National School Lunch Program.

In addition, in order to reach students who are categorically eligible for free and reduced price meals and to comply with state law, three times per school year the Director of Food Services will review the list made available by the State Education Department of children ages three to 18 who are in households receiving federal food assistance, Medicaid benefits (for certain recipients), or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to identify students within the District. The District will send a notice to those families apprising them of their student’s eligibility to participate in the school meal programs without further application. Parents may decline participation by informing the District in writing. If the service is declined, the student will be removed from the eligibility list.

The Director of Food Services, along with food service staff, will establish meal time procedures that both protect the anonymity of the student and allow for proper accounting.

Community Eligibility

If the District can show that the percentage of students eligible for free school meals at any one school, or group of schools, or the entire School District, is at least 40%, the District may elect for the school, schools, or District to participate in the Community Eligibility option. Pursuant to federal law and regulations, the school would provide all students at that school or schools with free breakfast and lunch, pursuant to federal regulations. The District would receive federal reimbursement corresponding to the percentage of eligible students. If the reimbursement received by the District is not sufficient to cover total nonprofit school food service program costs, non-federal funds must be used to pay the difference.

Pursuant to federal regulations, under the Community Eligibility option, student eligibility is based on household receipt of food assistance (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)), income assistance (TANF), or Medicaid benefits (for certain income levels), student participation in Head Start , or recognition of the student as homeless, runaway, migrant, or in foster care.

All affected households will receive prior notification that the school is operating under the Community Eligibility provision.

Policy References:
National School Lunch Act of 1946, as amended, (42 U.S.C. §§1751-1760)
Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended, (42 USC §§1771 et seq.) 
7 CFR Part 245 
Social Services Law §95(7)
U.S. Department of Education guidance document, The Community Eligibility Provision and Selected Requirements Under Title I, January 2014, www.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/13-0381guidance.doc

Policy Cross References:
 » 8500 - Food Service Management