FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FREE AND REDUCED-PRICE SCHOOL MEALS
Children need healthy meals to learn. Escondido Elementary School District offers healthy meals every school day. Breakfast costs [$1.30 for Elementary and $1.45 for Middle School]; lunch costs [$1.95 for Elementary and $2.20 for Middle School]. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced-price meals. Reduced-price is [$0.00] for breakfast and [$0.00] for lunch. This packet includes an application for free or reduced-price meal benefits, and a set of detailed instructions. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process.
- Who can get FREE OR REDUCED-PRICE meals?
- All children in households receiving benefits from [CalFresh], [CalWorks] or [the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)], are eligible for free meals.
- Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals.
- Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.
- Children may receive free or reduced-price meals if your household’s income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Your children may qualify for free or reduced-price meals if your household income falls at or below the limits on this chart.
FEDERAL INCOME CHART
For July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018
||Twice per Month
||Every Two Weeks
|Each additional person:
- HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILDREN QUALIFY AS HOMELESS, MIGRANT OR RUNAWAY? HOMELESS - children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. Are you staying together in a shelter, hotel, or other temporary housing arrangement? MIGRANT - does your family relocate on a seasonal basis? RUNAWAY - Are any children living with you who have chosen to leave their prior family or household? If you believe children in your household meet these descriptions and haven't been told your children will get free meals, please call or email Project Success, Alice Coronado, Homeless Liaison, email@example.com,760-432-2469.
- Do I need to fill out an application for each child? No. Use one Free and Reduced-Price School Meals Application for all EUSD students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information.
- SHOULD I FILL OUT AN APPLICATION IF I RECEIVED A LETTER THIS SCHOOL YEAR SAYING MY CHILDREN ARE ALREADY APPROVED FOR FREE MEALS? No, but please read the letter you got carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household were missing from your eligibility notification, contact Gail Gousha, Director of Nutrition Services, 760-432-2141 immediately.
- CAN I APPLY ONLINE? Yes! You are encouraged to complete an online application instead of a paper application if you are able. The online application has the same requirements and will ask you for the same information as the paper application. Visit [eusdhealthykids.org] to begin or to learn more about the online application process. Contact Gail Gousha, Director of Nutrition Services, 760-432-2141 if you have any questions about the online application.
- MY CHILD’S APPLICATION WAS APPROVED LAST YEAR. DO I NEED TO FILL OUT A NEW ONE? Yes. Your child’s application is only good for that school year and for the first thirty days of this school year or until a new application is processed. You must complete a new application unless you are told that your child is eligible for the new school year.
- I GET WIC. CAN MY CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Please send in an application or apply online.
- Will the information I give be checked? Yes. We may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report.
- If I don’t qualify now, may I apply later? Yes, you may apply at any time during the school year. For example, children with a parent or guardian who becomes unemployed may become eligible for free and reduced-price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.
- What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application? You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to: Gail Gousha, Director of Nutrition Services, 760-432-2141.
- May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen? Yes. You, your children, or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply for free or reduced-price meals.
- What if my income is not always the same? List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes. If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.
- WHAT IF SOME HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS HAVE NO INCOME TO REPORT? Household members may not receive some types of income we ask you to report on the application, or may not receive income at all. For each Household Member listed, if they do not receive income, write -0- or leave blank. If you enter -0- or leave any fields blank, you are certifying (promising) that there is no income to report.
- We are in the military. do we REPORT OUR INCOME DIFFERENTLY? Your basic pay and cash bonuses must be reported as income. If you get any cash value allowances for off-base housing, food, or clothing, or receive Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance payments, it must also be included as income. However, if your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income. Any additional combat pay resulting from deployment is also excluded from income.
- My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for? To find out how to apply for [CalFresh, CalWorks or FDPIR] or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call [866-262-9881].
If you have other questions or need help, please call 760-432-2142 (Eng) or 760-432-2143 (Spa).
Director of Nutrition Services
PRIVACY ACT STATEMENT: This explains how we will use the information you give us.
The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information on this application. You do not have to give the information, but if you do not, we cannot approve your child for free or reduced-price meals. You must include the last four digits of the Social Security Number (SSN) of an adult household member listed on the application. The last four digits of the SSN is not required when you apply on behalf of a Court Appointed Foster Child or you list a CalFresh (Food Stamps), CalWORKs, or FDPIR case number or other FDPIR identifier for your child or when you indicate that the adult household member signing the application does not have an SSN. We will use your household size and income information to determine if your child is eligible for free or reduced-price meals, and for administration and enforcement of the School Nutrition Program (SNP). We MAY share your eligibility information with education, health and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund, or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews, and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.