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Food Service » Free and Reduced Lunch

Free and Reduced Lunch

Dear Parent/Guardian:

        Children need healthy meals to learn. The Red Creek Central School District offers healthy meals every school day. Breakfast costs $1.50 and lunch costs $2.00 at the M.W Cuyler Elementary School and $2.15 at the Junior-Senior High School. Children from households that meet federal income guidelines (outlined below) are eligible for free meals or reduced price meals. Reduced price meals cost each eligible student $.25 for lunch and $.25 for breakfast. To apply for free or reduced price meals, submit a Direct Certification letter from the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance OR complete an  application, sign it, and return it to your school as soon as possible.  Please refer to the guidelines contained in this letter when completing the application. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all the required information.

DO I NEED TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION FOR EACH CHILD? No. Complete the application to apply for free or reduced price meals. Do not fill out more than one application for your household.

WHO CAN GET  FREE MEALS? Children in households getting Food Stamps or TANF and most foster children can get free meals regardless of your income. Also, your children can get free price meals if your household income is within the free limits on the Federal Income Guidelines. Each foster child must be listed on a separate application, with Part 2 completed and include an adult signature.

CAN HOMELESS, RUNAWAY and MIGRANT CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS? Please call the school to see if your child(ren) qualify, if you have not been informed that they will get free meals.

WHO CAN GET REDUCED PRICE MEALS? Your children can get low costs meals if your household income is within the reduced price limits on the Federal Income Chart, shown at the bottom of this page.

SHOULD I FILL OUT AN APPLICATION IF I RECEIVED A LETTER THIS SCHOOL YEAR SAYING MY CHILDREN ARE APPROVED FOR FREE OR REDUCED PRICE MEALS? Please read the letter you received carefully and follow the instructions. Call the school if you have questions.

I GET WIC, CAN MY CHILD(REN) GET FREE MEALS? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please fill out an application.

WILL THE INFORMATION I GIVE BE CHECKED? The school may ask you at any time during the school year to verify your eligibility. You will be notified, in writing, if you have been selected for Verification. School officials may ask you to send papers showing that your child should receive free or reduced lunch price meals at the time you applied.

IF I DON'T QUALIFY NOW, MAY I APPLY LATER? Yes. You may apply at any time during the school year if you household size goes up, income goes down, of if you start getting food stamps, TANF or other benefits. If you lose your job, your children may be able to get free or reduced price meals.

WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE SCHOOL'S DECISION ABOUT MY APPLICATION? You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to: Andrew DiBlasi, Hearing Officer, 315-754-2016.

MAY I APPLY IF SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD IS NOT A U.S. CITIZEN? Yes. You or your child(ren) do not have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for free or reduced price meals..

WHO SHOULD I INCLUDE AS MEMBERS OF MY HOUSEHOLD? You must include all people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends). You must include yourself and all children who live with you.

WHAT IF MY INCOME IS NOT ALWAYS THE SAME?  List the amount you normally get. For example, if you normally get $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only got $900, put down that you get $1000 a month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but not if you get it only sometimes.


How to Apply: To get free or reduced price meals for your children you may submit a Direct Certification Letter received from the NYS office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, OR carefully complete one application for your household and return it to the designated office. If you now receive food tamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) for any children, or participate in the Food Distribution Program for Indian Reservations (FDPIR), the application must include the children's names, the household food stamp, TANF or FDPIR number and the signature of an adult household member. All Children with the same  case number may be listed on the same application. Separate applications are required for children with different case numbers.  If you do not list a food stamp, TANF or FDPIR number for all the children for whom you are applying, the application must include the names of everyone in the household, the amount of income for each household member, and  how often it is received and where it comes from. It must include the signature of an adult household member and that adult's social security number, or the word "none" if the adult does not have a social security number. An application that is not complete cannot be approved. Contact your local Department of Social Services for your food stamp or TANF number or complete the income portion of the application.

Reporting Changes: The benefits that you are approved for at the time of application are effective for the entire school year. You no longer need to report changes for an increase in income or decrease in household size, or if you no longer receive food stamps.

Income Exclusions: The value of any child care provided or arranged, or any amount received as payment for such child  care reimbursement for costs incurred for such care under the Child care Development (Block Grant) Fund should not be considered as income for this program.

Nondiscrimination Statement: This explains what to do if you believe you have been treated unfairly. In accordance with Federal Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on this basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA,. Director, office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964 (voice & TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider & employer.

Meal Service to Children with Disabilities: Federal regulation require schools and institutions to serve meals at no extra charge to children with a disability which may restrict their diet. A student with a disability is defined in 7CFR Part 15b.3 of Federal regulations, as one who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Major life activities are defined to include functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.  You must request the special meals from the school and provide the school with medical certification from a medical doctor. If you believe your child needs substitutions because of a disability, please get in touch with us for further information, as there is specific information that medical certification must contain.

Confidentiality: The United States Department of Agriculture has approved the release of students' names and eligibility status, without parent/guardian consent, to persons directly connected with the administration of enforcement of federal education programs such as Title I and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which are United States Department of Education Programs used to determine areas such as the allocation of funds to schools, to United States Department of education Programs used to determine areas such as the allocation of funds to schools, to evaluate socioeconomic status of the school's attendance area, and to assess educational progress. Information may also be released to State Health or State Education programs administered by the State agency or local education agency, provided the State or local education agency administers the program, and federal State or local nutrition programs similar to the National School Lunch Program. Additionally, all information contained in the free and reduced price application may be released to persons directly connected with the administration or enforcement of programs authorized under the National School Lunch Act (NSLA) or Child Nutrition Act (CNA); including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, the Special Milk Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC); the Comptroller General of the United Sates for audit purposes, and federal, State or local law enforcement officials investigating alleged violation of the programs under the NSLA or CNA.

The disclosure of eligibility information not specifically authorized by the NSLA requires a written consent statement from the parent/guardian.

We will let you know when your application is approved or denied.

Fair Hearing: If you do not agree with the school's decision on your application or the result of verification, you may wish to discuss it with the school. You also have the right to a fair hearing. This can be done by calling 754-2016 or writing the following official:

Ms. Susan Gray, Hearing Officer
Red Creek School District
PO Box 190
Red Creek, New York 13143

A paper copy of this form is available in any of the Red Creek Central School offices.