Lunch

Perry County School No. 32 announced its revised free and reduced price policy for school children unable to pay the full price of meals served in schools under the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. 

This year’s numbers reflect a 2.6 percent increase over the previous year for a family of the same size. 

For example last year a family of three was eligible for the free meals if their income fell below $27,014 and for reduced meals if the income fell below $38.443. Those numbers stand at $27, 729 for free meals and $39, 461 for reduced meals respectively.

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 Perry County School District No. 32 Communications Director Kate Martin said the income levels are not set by the district itself, but by the state.

“The state looks at the cost of living increases and that’s how they determine the dollar amounts,” Martin said. “The school has nothing to do with the figures.”

Local education officials have adopted the following family-size income criteria for determining eligibility:

Children from families whose current income is at or below those shown are eligible for free or reduced price meals. 

Applications are available at the school office. 

To apply, fill out a Free and Reduced Price School Meals Family Application and return it to the school. The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining eligibility. Applications may be submitted any time during the school year. A complete application is required as a condition of eligibility. 

A complete application includes: (1) household income from all sources or Food Stamp/TANF case number, (2) names of all household members, and (3) the signature and last four digits of social security number or indication of no social security number of adult household member signing the application. 

School officials may verify current income at any time during the school year. 

Foster children may be eligible regardless of the income of the household with whom they reside. 

“We certainly encourage families to apply whether they think they are near the eligibility threshold or not,” Martin said. “It’s confidential information that only one person on campus sees. 

The number of children in the free and reduced lunch program is also one criterion used for us to participate in other federal programs.”

If a family member becomes unemployed or if family size changes, the family should contact the school to file a new application. Such changes may make the children of the family eligible for these benefits. 

Households will be notified of their children’s eligibility status for free or reduced price meals. 

If any children were not listed on the eligibility notice for families receiving SNAP, TANF or FDPIR, the household should contact the school to have free meal benefits extended to those children. 

If any child(ren) was not listed on the eligibility notice, the household should contact the LEA or school to have free meal benefits extended to that child(ren). 

Under the provisions of the policy, the Assistant Superintendent, Jeanie White will review the applications and determine eligibility. 

If a parent is dissatisfied with the ruling of the determining official, they may wish to discuss the decision with the hearing official on an informal basis or he/she may make a request either orally or in writing to the Superintendent of Schools, Andrew Comstock. 

Hearing procedures are outlined in the policy. A complete copy of the policy is on file in each school and in the central office where any interested party may review it.

USDA Non-discrimination Statement: 

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. 

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

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