The School Lunch Program can help families that are struggling financially with their food costs. Households can apply anytime throughout the school year for meal benefits that are offered by school districts. A family may apply for any reason: a change in employment, household size, gaining guardianship of a child or simply applying for the first time.
In accordance with federal regulations, schools must provide hard copies of application materials to families, electronic availability can be offered as well. (7 CFR §245.6(a) General requirements-content of application and descriptive materials., 7 CFR §245.6(a)(3) Electronic availability)
USDA Federal regulations require that information obtained from families must be held in strict confidence. If the student’s eligibility status is released to staff, the district will receive penalties for breaking the family’s confidence.
Your Food Service Director with administrative support, may want to send information home regarding the program to encourage families to apply for meal benefits, which will in turn increase the district’s free and reduced percentages. Districts have realized some success in application returns by including a self-addressed envelope to the Food Service Director.
Students who are eligible for free or reduced price meals at the end of the school year will remain eligible for the first 30 operating days of the next school year (typically mid-October.)
For more information, please call Child Nutrition Director, Walter Beesley at 624-6875 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.