Back to School and Back to Normal in the Cafeteria
Rockwall ISD (Aug. 3, 2022) – During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress authorized spending that allowed schools to serve free meals to all students. Those funds are not authorized to continue through the 2022-2023 school year. As a result, Rockwall ISD must return to charging for school meals and offer free or reduced-price meals based on student eligibility. Families are encouraged to complete the Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application available at www.Schoolcafe.com/Rockwall or available in your child’s cafeteria or school main office.
The application will determine a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meals and may assist in determining eligibility for other state or federal benefits. Only one application per household needs to be completed. Schools will notify the household of the child’s eligibility.
Decisions about payment for school meals are made at the national government level, not by the school nutrition team or TDA. Rockwall ISD’s dedicated staff looks forward to serving healthy, balanced meals to students in the new school year. These meals, whether for a fee, free or at a reduced price, offer a good source of nutrition for children.
Criteria for Free and Reduced Price Meal Benefits
The following criteria will be used to determine a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meal benefits:
1. Household income that is at or below income eligibility levels
Categorical or automatic eligibility
2. Household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); o Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
Program Participant Eligibility
3. The child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant, or displaced by a declared disaster
4. Enrollment of the child in Head Start or Even Start
For those households that qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on income, an adult in the household must complete the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application and return it to Child Nutrition, 1050 Williams Street, Rockwall, TX 75087. The application must provide the Next information:
1. Names of all household members
2. Current amount, frequency, and source of income for each household member
3. Last 4 digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application or, if the adult does not have a social security number, check the “No Social Security Number” box
4. Signature of an adult household member attesting that the information provided is correct
Categorical or Program Participant Eligibility
Rockwall ISD is working with local agencies to identify all children who are categorically eligible and eligible for the program. Rockwall ISD will notify the households of these children that they do not need to complete an application. Any household that does not receive a letter and feels they should, can contact Deanna Stacy, Secretary to the Director, at 972-771-8201.
Any household wishing to decline benefits should contact Deanna Stacy, Secretary to the Director, at 972-771-8201.
Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used to determine eligibility. Requests may also be verified by school officials at any time during the school year.
Per the provisions of the Free and Reduced Price Meals Policy, Deanna Stacy, Secretary to the Principal, will review applications and determine eligibility. Homes or guardians who are dissatisfied with the Review Officer’s eligibility determination may wish to discuss the decision with the Review Officer informally. Households wishing to file a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may submit a request orally or in writing to Will Salee, Executive Director of Operations, 1191 TL Townsend Drive, Rockwall, TX 75087, 469-698-7157.
If a household member becomes unemployed or the size of the household increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make children in the household eligible for benefits if the household income is at or below the attached current income eligibility guidelines.
In the operation of child feeding programs, no child shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, age, or disability. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Press release sent by Rockwall ISD, edited for publication in Blue Ribbon News.