The household size and income criteria identified in the accompanying graph will be used to determine eligibility for free, reduced-price, or full-price meal benefits. Children from households whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Children who receive Food Stamp (FS), California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payments (Kin-GAP), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits are automatically eligible for free meals regardless of the income of the household in which they reside. Eligibility for a foster child is based on a separate application and solely on the amount of the child’s “personal use” income.
Application forms are being distributed to all households with a letter informing them of the availability of free and reduced-price meals for enrolled children. Applications are also available at the principal’s office in each school.
Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, the determining official(s), as designated by the sponsor/agency, shall review applications and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the eligibility ruling may discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. Parents may also make a formal request for an appeal hearing of the decision and may do so orally or in writing with the sponsor/agency’s hearing official. Parents or guardians should contact their child(ren)’s school(s) for specific information regarding the name of the determining official and/or hearing official for a specific school, agency or district.
If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below the levels shown in the graph.
Households that receive Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR benefits may not need to complete an Application for Free or Reduced-Price Meals or Free Milk. School officials will determine eligibility for free meals based on documentation obtained directly from the Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR office that a child is a member of a household currently receiving Food Stamp or FDPIR benefits or an assistance unit receiving CalWORKs or Kin-GAP benefits. School officials will notify households of their eligibility, but those who do not want their child(ren) to receive free meals must contact the school. Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, and FDPIR households should complete an application if they are not notified of their eligibility Sept. 3, 2011.