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Free, Reduced-Price School Lunch Application Process Announced

Families can apply online now for 2012-13 school year. Paper applications will be available August 1.

 

The District School Board of Pasco County has announced its free and reduced-price household meal application process for the 2012-2013 school year.

The National School Lunch Act states that households who are below the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines may qualify for free or reduced-priced meal benefits. Households must complete a new Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application for the upcoming school year.

Families can apply online by visiting the Food and Nutrition Services Department website. Applications also will be available on August 1 from any Pasco County school cafeteria or administration office, at student orientation and throughout the school year. A new household application must be submitted at the start of each new school year.

Last year’s meal eligibility status will expire after the first ten days of school on September 1, 2012. A student who received free or reduced-price meal benefits in the 2011-2012 school year and has not submitted a new application and has not been approved by the expiration date will be required to pay full price for all meals. Until a new 2012-2013 Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application is received and approved, including applications based on Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Foster Child(ren) parents must provide their child(ren) with money to pay for their child(ren)’s meals at the regular listed price or, parents can send a lunch from home for their child(ren).

Households that receive Food Stamps or TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) are required to list only the child or children’s names, Food Stamp / TANF case number, and have a signature of an adult household member on the application.

Household size and income criteria will be used to determine eligibility. Foster children may receive benefits based on the child’s personal income regardless of the income of the household. Households with children who are considered migrants, homeless, or runaways should contact the district liaison at (813) 794-0608 for more information.

For the purpose of determining household size, deployed service members are considered a part of the household. Households should include the names of the deployed service members on their application.

Report only that portion of the deployed service member’s income made available to them on their behalf to the family. Additionally, a housing allowance that is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative is not to be included as income.

All other households must provide total household income prior to taxes, social security, health benefits, union dues, and any other deductions, listed by amount received, type of income and how often the income is received. Names of all household members must be listed. A signature and last four digits of social security number (or mark the word “NONE” in the appropriate box) of an adult household member must be on the application to verify the information provided is correct.

Your eligibility may be checked at any time during the school year. School officials may ask you to send records proving that your child should receive free or reduced-price meals.

All applications are reviewed and processed by the Food and Nutrition Services Department. An application must contain complete eligibility information. Once the application is approved, a notification letter is sent to the family. The approval for meal benefits is good for an entire school year; e.g. a status of free, reduced-price, or denied (full payment required).

If a parent, guardian or household member becomes unemployed or if the household size changes the school should be contacted. Such changes may make the student eligible for free or reduced-price meals if the household income falls at or below the levels shown in the chart. Households may apply for benefits at any time during the school year.

If you have any questions regarding the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application or the school food program, contact Determining Official, Nicole Westmoreland at (813) 794-2438 or email nwestmor@pasco.k12.fl.us. If you do not agree with the final decision made on the eligibility status of your Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application, you have the right to appeal. To appeal, you must contact Richard P. Kurtz, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at (813) 794-2439 or 7227 Land O’ Lakes Blvd, Land O’ Lakes, Florida 34638.

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