Ward County schools have adopted income eligibility guide- lines for the coming school year for students served under federal child nutrition programs.
To receive free school lunch or milk, a household with two members must earn no more than $19,123 yearly; $1,594 monthly and $368 weekly. For each additional household member, add $4,966 to annual income, $414 to monthly income and $96 for weekly income.
To receive reduced price school meals, a household with two members must earn no more than $27,214 per year, no more than $2,268 per month and $524 per week. For each additional household member, add $7,067 per year; $589 per month and $136 per week.
Students receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Special Nutrition Assistance Program benefits or commodity assistance through the Food Distribution Program on Indian reservations are eligible for free meal benefits. Schools send a letter and an application to the households of all students enrolled in one of those programs. Copies are also available at the office in each school. School officials use the information on the application only to decide if the students should receive free or reduced price meals. The information may be released to other federal education programs and state health and education programs. Applica- tions may be submitted at any time during the year.
Households with any member who is receiving benefits from one of the above programs are only required to provide the recipient's name, their case number, the student's name and an adult signature.
For other applicants, the household must list the names of all household members, all household income with the amount, source and frequency of the income received by each household member. If a household member does not have income, the "no income" box must be checked. An adult signature is required along with the last four digits of the adult's social security number. The signature of the adult household member certifies that the information provided is correct.
Applicants may include all foster children's names on a household application with other non-foster children. Foster children are eligible for school meal benefits. Foster children must be the legal responsibility of the welfare agency or the court.
Students who are homeless, runaway or migrant are also eligible for benefits. Household members do not have to be United States citizens for students to qualify for benefits.
The school official will review applications and determine eligibility. An application that is not complete cannot be approved. A new application must be completed each year.
If a household does not agree with the decision on the application, the decision may be discussed with the school official on an informal basis. To make a formal appeal, make a request, either orally or in writing, to the school district's hearing official for a hearing to appeal the decision.
Students having parents or guardians who become unemployed, could be eligible for free or reduced price meals during the period of unemployment provided that the loss of income causes the household income to be within the eligibility criteria. Such changes may affect the eligibility status of the student for free or reduced-price meals.