The Bethany Public School District today announced its policy for determining eligibility of children who may receive free or reduced price meals served under the National School Lunch Program .
Local school officials have adopted the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Income Eligibility Guidelines following family size and income criteria for determining eligibility.
The income guidelines in the photo will be used in Connecticut from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 for determining eligibility of participants for free and reduced price meals in the Child Nutrition Programs.
Children from families whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced price meals. Application forms are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents. 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 at each school. The information provided on the application is confidential.
Applications may be submitted at any time during the year. Application forms for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) households require name of the person in the household receiving the SNAP or TFA benefits and their case number. The signature of an adult household member is also required.
Households receiving assistance under the SNAP/TFA programs will be notified of their eligibility and their children will be provided free benefits unless the household notifies the school that it chooses to decline benefits. Households receiving SNAP benefits or TFA for their children should only submit an application if they are not notified of their eligibility by September 30, 2012.
Additionally, households receiving SNAP benefits or TFA for their children may receive a direct certification letter from the Department of Social Services. These letters will automatically qualify a child for free meals and may be submitted instead of an application to the school.
Application forms for all other households require a statement of total household income, household size and names of all household members. The last four digits of the social security number of an adult household member must be included or a statement that the household member does not have one. The adult household member must also sign the application certifying that the information provided is correct.
Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court, are eligible for free meals.
A foster parent does not have to complete a free/reduced meal application if they can submit a copy of the legal document or legal court order showing that the child is a foster child. Additionally, a foster child is categorically eligible for free meals and may be included as a member of the foster family if the foster family chooses to also apply for benefits. If the foster family is not eligible for free or reduced price meal benefits, it does not prevent a foster child from receiving free meal benefits. Note however, that a foster child’s free eligibility does not automatically extend to all students in the household.
Under the provisions of the policy for determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals, the Bethany Community School Principal Robert Spino will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent is dissatisfied with the ruling of the determining official, he/she may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis.
If he/she wishes to make a formal appeal, a request either orally or in writing, may be made to Interim Superintendent Dr. Ernest L. Perlini; Bethany Public School District (203) 393-1170; 44 Peck Road; Bethany, CT 06524; for a hearing to appeal the decision.
If a household member becomes unemployed or if household size changes at any time, the family should contact the school to file a new application. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for reduced price meals, free meals, or free milk, if the family income falls at or below the levels shown above.