Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358, email@example.com
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook,
July 1, 2016
– The Georgia Department of Education is announcing
the policy for free and reduced-price meals for children unable to pay the full
price served in schools under the National School Lunch Program and/or School
Breakfast Program. Local school officials have adopted the following
family size and income criteria for determining eligibility.
If Family Income is Within
If Family Income is Within
0 to 15,444
0 to 20,826
0 to 26,208
0 to 31,590
0 to 36,972
0 to 42,354
0 to 47,749
0 to 53,157
15,445 to 21,978
20,827 to 29,637
26,209 to 37,296
31,591 to 44,955
36,973 to 52,614
42,355 to 60,273
47,750 to 67,951
53,158 to 75,647
FOR EACH ADDITIONAL FAMILY MEMBER, ADD $5,408 PER YEAR TO THE INCOME
LEVEL FOR FREE MEALS AND $7,696 TO THE INCOME LEVEL FOR REDUCED PRICE MEALS.
A reduced price breakfast will cost no more than $0.30 and a reduced
price lunch will be no more than $0.40 per meal.
Application forms are being sent from local schools 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. Children from families whose
income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced-price
meals. Foster children may also be eligible for these meals. Families
with foster children should contact the school for information regarding
benefits. Additional forms 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 with
each school district required to verify a sample annually. Applications
may be submitted at any time during the year.
For school officials to determine eligibility, households receiving Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
(TANF) must list the child's name, their SNAP or TANF case number, and the
signature and name of an adult household member. Households not receiving
SNAP or TANF must list: child's name, names of all household members, the
last four digits of the social security number of the parent or guardian (or an
indication that neither possesses a social security number), the amount of
monthly income received by each household member, identified by source, and the
signature of an adult household member certifying that the information provided
is correct. The information provided by the household is confidential and
will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and verifying data. We
may inform officials connected with other child nutrition, health, and
education programs of the information on your form to determine benefits for
those programs or for funding and/or evaluation purposes.
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 benefits if the household's income
falls at or below the levels shown above.
Under the provisions of this policy, a school official will review
applications and determine eligibility. If a parent is dissatisfied with
the determination, he/she may contact the school either orally or in writing.
The Richard B.
Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information on the application.
You do not have to give the information, but if you do not, your child’s
application for free or reduced price meals cannot be approved. You must
include the last four digits of the social security number of the adult
household member who signs the application. The last four digits of the
social security number is not required when you apply on behalf of a foster
child or you list a (SNAP) or (TANF) Program case number or when you indicate
that the adult household member does not have a social security number. We
will use your information to determine if your child is eligible for free or
reduced price meals, and for administration and enforcement of the lunch and
breakfast programs. 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.
Statement: 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, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation
for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded
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
(AD-3027) found online: 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.
asked questions about free and reduced-price meals:
How do I apply? You should receive an application from
your child’s school. If not, please contact the school directly.
Do I need to fill out an application for
each of my children? No,
you need one application for all students in your household. Return the
completed application to your child’s school.
Who can get free meals? All children in households receiving
benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary
Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) can get free meals regardless of your
income. Also, your children can get free meals if your household’s gross income
is within the free limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Foster children that are
under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible
for free meals. Children participating in their school’s Head Start program 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 the household’s income is within the
limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines as shown above.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILDREN QUALIFY AS
homeless, MIGRANT, OR RUNAWAY? Do
the members of your household lack a permanent address? Are you staying
together in a shelter, hotel, or other temporary housing arrangement? Does your
family relocate on a seasonal basis? 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 contact your child’s school.
Should I fill out an application if I
get a letter this school year saying my children are approved for free or
reduced-price meals? No,
but please read the letter carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household were
missing from the letter call your local School Nutrition Program Director
My child’s application was approved last
year. Do I need to fill out a new one?
Yes, a new application is required each school year. Your child’s application
last year was only good for the 2015-2016 school year and for the first few
days of this 2016-17 school year. You must send in a new application
unless the school told you 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.
Will the information I give be checked? Yes, and we may also ask you to send
written proof of the household information you report.
If I do not 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 speak with school officials. You also may ask for a hearing to have the
May I apply if someone in my household is not a U. S. citizen? Yes, you or
your children or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to
qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
Who should I include as members of my
household? You must
include all people living in your household, related or not (such as
grandparents, other relatives, or friends) who share income and expenses. You
must include yourself and all children who are living with you. If you live
with other people who are economically independent (for example, people whom
you do not support, whom do not share income with you or your children, and
whom pay a pro-rated share of expenses), do not include them.
What if my income is not always the
same? List the amount
that you normally receive. For instance, if you normally make $1000 each month,
but you only made $900 last month due to an unexpected reduction in hours,
please include the normal amount of $1000 per month. If you normally get
overtime, please also include it. If you have lost a job or had your hours or
wages reduced, please 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. Whenever this happens,
please write a 0 in the field. However, if any income fields are left empty or
blank, those will also be counted as zeroes. Please be careful when
leaving income fields blank, as we will assume you meant to do so.
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 not included as income.
My family needs more help. Are there
other programs we might apply for? For
more information on the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast
Program, contact Nancy Rice, Director of the School Nutrition Division of the
Georgia Department of Education, at email@example.com or at (404) 651-6600. For more
information on applying for SNAP, or other assistance benefits, visit http://dfcs.dhs.georgia.gov/ or call 1+ (877) 423-4746.
For more information on School Meals
Eligibility contact Theresa Latta at firstname.lastname@example.org.