FREE AND REDUCED MEAL ELIGIBILITY
National School Lunch Program regulations require that lunches be provided for needy students when family income is insufficient to provide the basic necessities, including food of the proper quality and amount for good nutrition.
Parents shall be informed of the district policy concerning "Meals for Needy Children." A letter and application form will be distributed to all parents during the first few weeks of school. The letter will contain information on the eligibility standards, procedures for applying for free "Meals for Needy Children," and how an appeal may be filed for an adjustment in the decision with respect to their application. This information and an application form will be provided whenever a new student is enrolled.
A public news release containing this same information will be made available to local news representatives early in the school year. Copies of this public release will be made available upon request to any interested party. Subsequent changes in the district eligibility standards during the school year, which are approved by the state agency, will also be publicly announced.
1. Free or reduced price lunches will be provided for all students who qualify on the basis of financial need.
2. There shall be no discrimination in the furnishings of meals because of race, religion, source of income, etc.
3. The anonymity of students receiving assistance under this policy shall be protected. The names of these students will be treated in a confidential manner. They will use the same tickets for milk and lunch and will obtain these items in the same manner and place, as do all other children.
4. Requests for free lunches or reduced price lunches which have been denied may be appealed to the Superintendent.
5. Records of students receiving assistance will be kept in the district office, where records for audit purposes will be maintained.
6. Eligibility for the "Meals for Needy Children" program will be based on the following:
A. Emergency Situations. A child's statement of need is sufficient for providing assistance on a temporary basis. A family contact should be made immediately to determine extent and probable duration of need. In cases of family emergency such as sudden unemployment, illness, death, desertion, etc., assistance will be provided as needed.
B. Objective Standards of Need Eligibility for assistance, other than that for emergency situations, will be determined on the basis of income and family size as indicated on the scale provided by the district.
C. Priority to Neediest Families If it is not possible for the district to meet all requests for free or reduced price meals, priority shall be given to those children from families whose income is lowest on the scale regardless of source of income.
7. If school authorities feel that a family's financial situation has changed, and the students are no longer eligible for free meals, a hearing procedure will be used by the Superintendent to challenge the continued eligibility. In the event of such a challenge, the family will be given a reasonable period of time in advance of the hearing to review the information on which the challenge is based. Children will continue to receive free meals until the conclusion of the hearing.
LEGAL REFERENCE: Connecticut General Statutes 10-215 Lunches, breakfasts and other feeding programs for public school children and employees. 10-215b Duties of State Board of Education re feeding program 10-215b-1 Competitive foods 10-216 Payment of expenses