Northwest NEWS

August 13, 2001


National school lunch/breakfast programs

The Northshore School District recently announced its policy for free and reduced-price lunches/snacks and/or free or reduced-price breakfasts for children who qualify according to the eligibility standards for meals served under the National School Lunch and/or School Breakfast programs. Each school and the central office have a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.
   Application forms are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households should fill out the application and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at the principal's office in each school. The information provided on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials.
   For the school officials to determine eligibility, the household must provide the following information listed on the application: the names of everyone in the household, the amount of income each household member got last month and where it came from, the signature of an adult household member and that adult's social security number or the the word "none" if the adult does not have a social security number. For a child who is a member of a food stamp household or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) assistance unit, the household need provide only the child's name, the food stamp or TANF case number, and printed named and signature of an adult member on the application.
   Households, which are certified as of Aug. 1, 2001, to receive food stamps or TANF, will receive a letter of direct certification for meals from the Department of Social and Health Services during August 2001. This certificate may be returned to the child's school in place of the completed application.
   Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.
   Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price policy, the designated approving official(s) will review applications and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may wish to discuss the decision with the approving official on an informal basis. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request either orally or in writing to the Director of Student Services, Eric Barnum.
   Households are required to report increases in household income of over $50 per month or $600 per year and decreases in household size. In households that provide a food stamp or TANF case number, the household must notify school officials of any termination of benefits for the child. Also, if a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for free or reduced-price meals if the household's income falls at or below the levels shown above.
   In certain cases, foster children are also eligible for school meal benefits. If a household has foster children living with them and wishes to apply for them, the household should contact the school for more information.
   The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining and verifying data.