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Free and reduced price meals available

The Delaware Department of Education today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture policy for free and reduced price meals for children unable to pay the full price for meals served under the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and After School Snack Program. Each participating school and its administrative office have copies of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

Meal benefit forms will be sent home with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced price meals, households should fill out the form for their household and return it to the school. The information provided on the form will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by program officials.

For program officials to determine eligibility, households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and/or Delaware Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (DE-TANF) must list the child’s name and SNAP and/or DE-TANF case number and must provide a signature and name of an adult household member.  Households not receiving SNAP and/or DE-TANF must list: names of all household members, the amount of the gross income for each household member received last month, the income source and how often received, the signature of an adult household member and that adult’s last four digits of Social Security Number or the word “none” or “No Social Security Number” box marked if the adult does not have a Social Security Number.  Meal benefit forms may be submitted at any time during the school year.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced price policy, the school nutrition services supervisor will review the forms and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. Parents or guardians wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request either orally or in writing to the administrative office for a hearing on the decision.

Children who are enrolled in Head Start, homeless, migrant, runaway or in foster care are eligible for free school meal benefits. In certain instances, children receiving WIC also may be eligible. Parents or guardians wishing to apply should follow the instructions on the form or contact their school for more information.

Households may report changes or reapply for meal benefits at any time during the school year. The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only for purposes of determining eligibility and verifying data.

The U.S Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination  against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the department.  (Not all prohibited basis will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html  or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You also may write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter by mail to U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Alison May
alison.may@doe.k12.de.us
(302) 735-4000