Free and Reduced Price Meal Information for Elmore County Public Schools – Elmore-Autauga News

OF ELMORE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Elmore County Public Schools today announced its free and reduced-price meal policy for children served in schools under the National School Lunch Program and/or the School Breakfast Program. Local school officials have adopted the following income and household size criteria to determine eligibility:

Children need healthy meals in order to learn. Elmore County Public Schools offers healthy meals every school day. Breakfast costs $0.00; lunch costs $2.75. Your children may qualify for free or reduced price meals. The reduced price is $0.00 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the Elmore County Public Schools application process.

1. WHO CAN GET FREE OR REDUCED PRICE MEALS?

• All children in households receiving benefits from Alabama SNAP, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or Alabama TANF, are eligible for free meals.

• All children in households receiving Medicaid benefits are eligible for free or reduced price meals.

• Foster children who are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals.

• Children who participate 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 who are directly certified are eligible for free meals.

• When Elmore County Public Schools knows, households will be notified of their children’s eligibility for free meals based on their participation (or a household member’s participation) in: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP ); Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR); o Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), if the state program meets federal standards.

• When Elmore County Public Schools becomes aware, households will be notified of any child’s eligibility for free meals based on the child’s individual designation as Categorically Eligible from Other Source, as defined by law. Children are determined to be categorically eligible from another source if they are:

Homeless, Migrant, Runaway, Foster Child, or Enrolled in Head Start or an eligible pre-kindergarten program (see: SP 40-2013: Questions and Answers on Head Start Programs’ Participation in Child Nutrition Programs, https://www.fns.usda.gov/qas-regarding-participation-head-start-programs-child-nutrition-programs-0).

two. HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILDREN QUALIFY AS HOMELESS, MIGRANT, OR RUNAWAY? Do members of your household lack a permanent address? Are you staying together in a shelter, hotel, or other temporary living arrangement? Does your family move seasonally? Are there any children living with you who have chosen to leave their previous family or home? If you think children in your household meet these descriptions and you have not been told your children will get free meals, please call or email ECBOE Homeless Liaison Sherry Spigener at 334.567.2810 or www.sherry. [email protected]

3. DO I NEED TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION FOR EACH CHILD? No. Use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so please be sure to complete all required information. Return completed application to: 1) school, 2) CNP office, 100 HH Robison Drive, Wetumpka 36092 or 3) mail to: ECBOE CNP office, PO Box 817, Wetumpka AL 36092.

Four. SHOULD I FILL OUT AN APPLICATION IF I RECEIVED A LETTER THIS SCHOOL YEAR SAYING MY CHILDREN ARE ALREADY APPROVED FOR FREE MEALS? No, but please read the letter you received carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household are missing from your eligibility notification, please contact the CNP office at 334.567.1222 or toll free 1.844.685.9054 or email [email protected] immediately.

5. CAN I APPLY ONLINE? Yes! We recommend that you complete an online application rather than a paper application if you are able. The online application has the same requirements and will ask for the same information as the paper application. Visit www.myschoolapps.com to get started or learn more about the online application process. Please contact the CNP office at 334.567.1222 or toll free 1.844.685.9054 if you have any questions about the online application.

6. MY SON’S APPLICATION WAS APPROVED LAST YEAR. DO I NEED TO FILL OUT A NEW ONE? Yes. Your child’s application is only good for that school year and for the first few days of this school year, through September 19, 2022. You must submit a new application unless the school has told you that your child is eligible. for the new school year. If you do not submit a new application approved by the school or have not been notified that your child is eligible for free meals, your child will be charged the full price of the meals.

7. I RECEIVE WIC. CAN MY CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Submit a request.

8. WILL THE INFORMATION I GIVE BE VERIFIED? Yes. In accordance with program regulations, school officials will verify the income of some households at some point during the school year. Selected households will be required to provide income documentation to continue receiving free or reduced price meals.

9. IF I DON’T QUALIFY NOW, CAN I APPLY LATER? Yes, you can apply at any time during the school year. For example, children with a parent or guardian who becomes unemployed may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals if their household income falls below the income limit.

10 WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE SCHOOL’S DECISION ON MY APPLICATION? You should talk to school officials. You may also request a hearing by calling or writing to: Susanne Goodin, Human Resources Director, PO Box 817, Wetumpka, AL 36092 or toll free at 1.844.685.9054 or [email protected] om .

eleven CAN I APPLY IF SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD IS NOT A UNITED STATES CITIZEN? Yes. You, your children, or other household members do not have to be US citizens to apply for free or reduced-price meals.

12 WHAT IF MY INCOME IS NOT ALWAYS THE SAME? Please indicate the amount you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1,000 a month, but you missed work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1,000 a month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes. If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.

13 WHAT IF SOME HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS HAVE NO INCOME TO REPORT? Household members may not receive some types of income that we ask you to report on the application, or may not receive any income at all. Whenever this happens, write a 0 in the field. However, if any income fields are left empty or blank, they will also be counted as zeros. Please be careful when leaving income fields blank as we will assume you intended to do so.

14 DO I HAVE TO PROVIDE MY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER? Only the last 4 digits of the social security number of the primary breadwinner or other adult household member are required (or an indication of “none”).

fifteen. CAN I DECLINE THE BENEFITS? Yes. Households notified of their child’s eligibility should contact Elmore County Public Schools, CNP at 334.567.1222

if they choose to decline free meal benefits.

sixteen. WHAT IF ALL THE CHILDREN ELIGIBLE FOR BENEFITS ARE NOT ON THE NOTICE OF ELIGIBILITY LETTER? If children or households receive

benefits under Assistance Programs or Other Categorically Eligible Source Programs and are not listed on the eligibility notice and are not notified by the school of their free meal benefits, the parent or guardian must contact the school or submit an application from income.

17 WE ARE IN THE MILITARY. DO WE REPORT OUR INCOME DIFFERENTLY? Your basic salary and cash bonuses must be reported as income. If you receive cash value allowances for off-base housing, food, or clothing, 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 also excluded from income.

18 WHAT IF THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SPACE ON THE APPLICATION FOR MY FAMILY? Please list any additional household members on a separate sheet of paper and attach it to your application. Contact the school or the CNP office at 334.567.1222 to receive a second application.

19 MY FAMILY NEEDS MORE HELP. ARE THERE OTHER PROGRAMS WE COULD APPLY FOR? To find out how to apply for Alabama

SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call (800) 382-0499.

If you have other questions or need help, please call 334.567.1222.

To be honest,

Cacyce R. Davis, MPH, RDN

Director of Child Nutrition

Elmore County Public Schools

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights rules and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity). gender and sexual orientation), disability, age, or retaliation or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be available in languages ​​other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or the USDA TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, the Complainant must complete Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites /default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P- Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to the USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the complainant’s alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) of the nature and date of the alleged violation of the civil rights. The completed form or letter AD-3027 must be submitted to USDA by:

1. mail:

US Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20250-9410; either

2nd fax:

(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; either

3. email:

[email protected]

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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