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Free or reduced-price meals to follow USDA guidelines

August 28, 2018

GREENWICH — School officials announced Monday the district will follow the United States Department of Agriculture’s Income Eligibility Guide to determine eligibility for free or reduced-price meals for the upcoming year.

A chart of income calculations can be found on the USDA website.

The district will include application forms for free or reduced-rice meals or free milk in the electronic packets it will send to every home.

Households should fill out one application per household and return it to school. Additional copies are available in every school office and on the Greenwich Public Schools wesbite.

The form will ask for: total household income, household size and names of all household members. An adult must provide either the last four digits of his or her social security number, or a statement that the household member does not have one. An adult household member must sign the application.

Applications need to be filled out completely, but the district reminded applicants the information they provide is confidential and will only be used for determining if students are eligible for lunch, breakfast and milk programs.

All school-aged children in income-eligible households can receive school meal benefits regardless of a child’s immigration status, officials said.

Officials advise families to contact the school and file a new application if a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size changes.

Eligibility from last year will apply for the first 30 days of school. If the household has not resubmitted an application once those 30 days are up, children must pay full price for school meals.

The school will not send a reminder or a notice of expired eligibility.

All children who live with someone who receives assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) programs are eligible for free meal benefits.

Households receiving SNAP or TFA benefits for their children should only submit an application if they are not notified of their eligibility by Aug. 30, 2018.

Foster children who are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are automatically eligible for free meals.

School principals review the applications. If parents want to contest the ruling, they can discuss the decision informally with the principal. Parents should call Jayne-Marie Lockette at (203) 625-8036 or send lettters to 10 Hillside Rd., Greenwich, CT 06830 to request an official hearing.

Family members can direct questions about the application process to the front office of their child’s school.

jo.kroeker@hearstmediact.com

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