TERRE HAUTE, Ind (WTHI) - The Indiana Department of Education announced household size andincome guidelines for free and reduced-price meals or free milk forthose students unable to pay the full price for meals or milkserved under the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, andSpecial Milk Programs.
Each local school corporation office has a copy of theguidelines that may be reviewed by any interested party. To viewthe household size and income criteria that will be used fordetermining eligibility, click here.
Children from households that meet federal guidelines areeligible for free or reduced- price meals or free milk.
Application forms are being provided to all homes with a letterto parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced-pricebenefits, households must complete the application as soon aspossible, sign it, and return it to the school.
One application should be submitted for all the studentsenrolled in the school district. Households should answer allapplicable questions on the form. An application that does notcontain all the required information cannot be processed andapproved by the school.
The required information is:
FOOD STAMP / TANF HOUSEHOLDS: If a household currentlyreceives Food Stamps or "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families"(TANF) for any child or other household member, they need only tolist the child's name and Food Stamp or TANF case number, and signthe application.
ALL OTHER HOUSEHOLDS: If a household's income is at or below thelevel shown on the income scale, children are eligible for free orreduced-price meals or free milk. Households must provide thefollowing information: (1) the names of all household members, (2)all household income last month and source of income received byeach household member (for example, EARNINGS, WELFARE, PENSION, orOTHER). Income is all money before taxes or anything else is takenout, (3) the signature of an adult household member, and (4) theSocial Security number of the adult signing the application.
The information on the application for free or reduced pricemeals may be verified by the school or other officials at any timeduring the school year. The information households provide will betreated confidentially and will be used only for the eligibilitydeterminations and verification of data.
Households may apply for benefits at any time during the schoolyear. If a household is not eligible now, but has a decrease inhousehold income, an increase in household size, or a householdmember becomes unemployed, an application should be filled out atthat time.
In certain cases foster children are eligible for meal or milkbenefits regardless of the household income. If a household hasfoster children living with them and they wish to apply for mealsor milk benefits for them, they should contact the school for helpwith the application.
Children enrolled in the Head Start/Even Start Program or theMigrant Education Program or who are considered homeless or runawayby the school district’s homeless liaison should contact theschool for assistance in receiving benefits.
Under the provisions of the policy, a local school corporationofficial will review applications and determine eligibility.Households dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may wish todiscuss it with the school. Households also have the right to afair hearing which may be initiated by contacting the hearingofficial in the local school corporation.
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