DOE issues free, reduced-price meal guidelines

AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Education today announced family size and income guidelines for free and reduced-price meals and milk in Maine schools for the 2011-12 school year.

The guidelines were developed with information provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Students from families whose annual income is equal to or less than the federal income guidelines shown below will be eligible for free or reduced-price meals or free milk at schools offering only a milk program. Kindergarten students whose families meet the income guidelines but have no access to school lunch or breakfast programs will be eligible to receive free milk.

The income guidelines for the 2011-12 school year are:

School Year 2012

FREE MEALS OR FREE MILK

 

Income

REDUCED PRICE MEALS

 

Income

Family Size (include adults)

Yearly

Monthly

Yearly

Monthly

1

$14,157

$1,180

$20,147

$1,679

2

19,123

1,594

27,214

2,268

3

24,089

2,008

34,281

2,857

4

29,055

2,422

41,348

3,446

5

34,021

2,836

48,415

4,035

6

38,987

3,249

55,482

4,624

7

43,953

3,663

62,549

5,213

8

48,919

4,077

69,616

5,802

For each additional family member add:

4,966

414

7,067

589

Applications will be sent home with each Maine school student on the first day of school as part of a letter from the school describing the nutrition programs offered by that school. Information provided on the application to schools is confidential.

A family’s application must include the names of all adult household members, their total monthly income by source and the signature of an adult. The last four digits of the Social Security number of the signing adult must be given.  A family or a child receiving Food Stamps or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) should list only the name of the child and the case number, and sign the application without completing the income portion of the application.

In certain cases, foster children are eligible for free meals or free milk.  For assistance in completing the application for a foster child, the foster parent should contact the school.

All applications are subject to selection for verification. Applications may be completed and sent to a child’s school at any time during the school year.

Parents filing an application with the school will be notified of the outcome of their application for eligibility. If a family is dissatisfied with the decision of the school official, the parent may make a request – either orally or in writing – to the superintendent of schools or administrator of the private school for a hearing to appeal the decision. Each school has copies of the written hearing procedure that may be reviewed by any interested party. Federal and state rules prohibit discrimination because of a child’s race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

Anyone who believes that he or she has been discriminated against should contact Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen or write to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250.

David Connerty-Marin | Maine Department of Education | 207-624-6880

Walter Beesley | Child Nutrition Specialist | 207-624-6875

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