The St. Clair County and the Leeds City school systems recently announced their policy for free and reduced-price meals for children served in schools under Local School Food Authority the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program.
Local school officials have adopted household size and income criteria for determining eligibility, outlined in the accompanying chart.
Parents whose total current household income is within the limits listed in the chart may have children who are eligible for either free or reduced-price meals.
They may apply by completing the application forms sent home with a letter to parents. Additional copies are available at the principal’s office in each school.
The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining eligibility. The information on the application may be verified at any time during the program year. Applications may be submitted any time during the school year.
In accordance with program regulations school officials will verify the income of some households at some time during the school year. Selected households will be requested to provide income documentation in order to continue receiving free and reduced-price meals.
The social security number must be provided for the primary wage earner or household member who signs the application. Aliens ineligible for social security numbers should indicate their status on the application.
In certain cases, foster children are also eligible for these benefits. If a family has such children living with them and wishes to apply for such meals for them, they should contact the school.
In the operation of child feeding programs, no child will be discriminated against because of race, sex, color, national origin, age or disability.
If a parent is dissatisfied with the ruling or the official, he may wish to discuss it in more detail with that official. If a parent wishes to review the ruling further after discussing it with the school, he has a right to a fair hearing. This can be done by making a request either orally or in writing.
Hearing procedures are outlined in the free and reduced-price meal policy.
If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size changes, the household should contact the school to file a new application. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for free or reduced-price meals if the household income falls at or below the level shown above.
A complete copy of the policy is on file in each school and in the office of the Superintendent of the St. Clair County School System, and in the office of the Superintendent of the Leeds School System were it may be reviewed by any interested party. All questions on the free and reduced-price application must be completed. Failure to include information on household members, income or SNAP (Food Stamp) case number, information on social security, and the signature of an adult household member will result in the denial of benefits.