POMEROY — Meigs Local School District today announced its 2012-2013 policies regarding free and reduced-price meals for students and the criteria for determining eligibility.
Superintendent Rusty Bookman said that the price of meals for those students unable to pay the full price of the meals served is determined under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast program. Each of the school offices and the central office have copies of that policy available for review by parents at any time.
The Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines are used to determine eligibility with children from families whose annual income is at or below the federal guidelines which make then eligible for free and reduced price meals. Bookman said that application forms have been distributed to all homes in a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free and reduced-price benefits, households should fill out the application and return it to the school. If the application form have been lost by the household, another copy can be picked up at the principal’s office of the school where the student attends.
He said that households which currently receive Special Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits (SNAP, formally known as food stamps) or Ohio Works First (OWF) funds for a child must provide the child’s name, the SNAP or OWF case number and signature of an adult household member on the application.
Households which do not receive SNAP or OWF funds must provide the names of all household members, the last four digits of the Social Security Number of the adult signing the application or state “none” if the adult does not have a Social Security Number, the amount and source of income received by each household member, (state the monthly income) and the signature of an adult household member. If any of this information is missing, the school cannot process the application, Bookman said. Under the provision of the policy, Christina Musser, Food Service Supervisor, will review applications and determine eligibility.
It was also noted by the superintendent that families with children eligible for school meals may be eligible for free health care coverage through Medicaid and/or Ohio’s Healthy Start & Healthy Families programs. These programs, it was noted, include coverage for doctor visits, immunizations, physicals, prescriptions, dental, vision, mental health, substance abuse and more. More information can be obtained by calling 1-800-324-8680 or accessing it on the web at http://jfs.ohio.gov/ohp/consumers/familychild.stm. Anyone who has an Ohio Medicaid card is already receiving these services, he added.
According to the law foster children are categorically eligible for free meal benefits regardless of the household’s income. If a family has foster children living with them and wishes to apply for such meals for them, they should contact the school for more information. Households may apply for benefits any time during the school year as the family’s income increases or decreases.
All information provided is confidential and used only for the purpose of determining eligibility. Households will be notified of the approval or denial of benefits by the school and have the option of appealing the decision if they disagree by calling Superintendent Bookman, 992-2153, or make a formal complaint with the USDA by calling 866-632-9992.