Districts announce free, reduced lunch, healthcare
Washington County School Districts have announced the 2020-21 program year policy for free and reduced-price meals for students unable to pay the full price of meals or milk served under the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, After School Care Snack or Special Milk Programs. Each school office and the central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.
The Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines will be used to determine eligibility. Children from families whose annual income is at or below the federal guidelines are eligible for free and reduced-price meals or free milk if the school participates in the Special Milk Program.
Application forms are distributed to all homes in a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free and reduced-price benefits, households should complete an application and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at the principal’s office in each school. A complete application is required. Households that receive Special Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits or Ohio Works First 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 that 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.
Free Health Care: Families with children eligible for school meals may be eligible for free health care coverage through Medicaid and/or Ohio’s Healthy Start and Healthy Families programs. These programs include coverage for doctor visits, immunizations, physicals, prescriptions, dental, vision, mental health, substance abuse and more. Please call 1-800-324-8680 for more information or to request an application. Information can also be found on the web at http://jfs.ohio.gov/ohp/consumers/familychild.stm. Anyone who has an Ohio Medicaid Card is already receiving these services.
The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials. To discourage the possibility of misrepresentation, the application forms contain a statement above the space for signature certifying that all information furnished is true and correct. Applications are being made in connection with the receipt of federal funds. Schools or other officials may check the information on the application at any time during the school year. Deliberate misrepresentation of information may subject the applicant to prosecution under applicable state and federal law.
Households will be notified of the approval or denial of benefits.
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 or milk for them, contact the school for more information.
Under the provision of the policy, a lunch program administrator will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent or guardian disagrees with the decision on the application or the result of verification, the decision may be discussed with the determining official on an informal basis. If a formal appeal is desired, the household has the right to a fair hearing. A fair hearing can be requested either orally or in writing from the board of education office.
The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure.
Households may apply for benefits any time during the school year. If a household is not eligible and if the household size increases or income decreases because of unemployment or other reasons, the family should contact the school to file a new application. Such changes may make the children of the family eligible for free or reduced-price benefits if the family income falls at or below the levels shown above.