The household size and income criteria identified in the accompanying chart are 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 such meals.
Children who receive CalFresh (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 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. To apply for free or reduced-price meal benefits, households must complete an application and submit it at any time during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used to determine meal eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or program officials.
Requirements for school officials to determine eligibility for free and reduced-price benefits are as follows: For households receiving CalFresh(FS), CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR benefits, applications need only include the enrolled child’s name, CalFresh (FS), CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR case number, and the signature of an adult household member.
For households who do not list a Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR case number, the application must include the names of all household members, the amount and source of the income received by each household member, and the signature and corresponding last four digits of the Social Security number of an adult household member. If the household member who signs the application does not have a Social Security number, the household member must indicate on the application that a Social Security number is not available.
Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, the determining official, as designated by the sponsor/agency, will 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’s school for information regarding the name of the determining official and/or hearing official for a school, agency or district.
If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes might make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below certain levels.