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Colorado Free and Reduced Price
Meals Policy
2016-2017 school year
 
 

FREE AND REDUCED PRICE MEALS INFORMATION LETTER TO HOUSEHOLDS​ and APPLICATION

Free and Reduced Meal Information and Application Packet​

Colorado Department of Education, Office of School Nutrition announces the policy for determining eligibility of children who may receive free and reduced price meals [or free milk] served under Colorado school food authorities that participate in the National School Lunch (NSLP), School Breakfast Programs (SBP) and/or Special Milk Program (SMP). See a full list of participating schools in Colorado at the end of this document. Local school officials will use the following household size and income criteria for determining eligibility for free or reduced price meals.

Household Size

 

Free Guidelines

 

Reduced Guidelines

 

 

Yearly

 

Yearly

1

 

$15,444

$21,978

2

 

$20,826

$29,637

3

 

$26,208

$37,296

4

 

$31,590

$44,955

5

 

$36,972

$52,614

6

 

$42,354

$60,273

7

 

$47,749

$67,951

8

 

$53,157

$75,647

For each additional family member add:

 

$5,408

$7,696

 

Children from families whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced price meals.

Applications for Free and Reduced Price School Meals, instructions and an informational letter to households are available at your local school and/or district office. Only one application is required for all children in the household. The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining eligibility and verifying data. 

Applications from families receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits or Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF, also known as Colorado Works, Basic Cash Assistance or State Diversion) benefits need only to list the respective case number, and provide the signature of an adult household member. Eligibility for free meals is extended to all children in the household when the application lists a case number for any household member.

All other households that would qualify based upon income must provide the names of all household members related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends), the amount of gross income each person receives, the frequency and source of pay, the signature of an adult household member, and the last four digits of that adult’s social security number—or check the box if the adult does not have a social security number. The information on the application may be verified by the school or other program officials at any time during the school year.

Households with children who are eligible under the Head Start, homeless, migrant, or runaway programs should contact the school for assistance in receiving benefits. To complete an application, they must mark the relevant box to indicate their appropriate eligibility.

Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals. Any foster child in the household is eligible for free meals regardless of income. If a family has just foster children in the home and wishes to apply for meals, they should complete the application using the instructions for households with foster children only. If a family has foster and non-foster children living with them and wishes to apply for meals, they should complete the application using the instructions for households that have foster and non-foster children residing in the home. Including foster children as household members may help other children in the household qualify for meal benefits.

An application cannot be approved unless it contains complete eligibility information as indicated on the application and instructions.

When determined by the school district, that members of a household are receiving assistance from SNAP, FDPIR or TANF, households will be notified of their children’s eligibility for free meals. If the household receives such a notice, no application is required for free meal benefits. If any children in the household were not listed on the eligibility notice or not listed on the application, the household should contact the district to have benefits extended to that child(ren).

When determined by the school district that an individual child is categorized as homeless, migrant, or runaway or is enrolled in an eligible Head Start program, households will be notified of any child’s eligibility for free meals. For any child not listed on the eligibility notice, the household should contact the district about any child also eligible under one of these programs or should submit an application for other children.

Households will be notified by their school of their children’s eligibility. The eligibility is valid for the current school year and up to 30 operating days into the next school year. When the carry-over period ends, unless the household is notified that their children are directly certified or the household submits an application that is approved, the children must pay full price for school meals and the school will not send a reminder or a notice of expired eligibility. Households notified of their children’s eligibility must contact the district if they choose to decline meal benefits.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) participants may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please contact your school.

Under the provision of the free and reduced price meal policy, the designated determining official of each Colorado school food authority will review applications and determine eligibility.  If a parent is dissatisfied with the decision, a request may be made to discuss it with the determining official.  A formal appeal may be made either orally or in writing for a hearing to appeal the decision.  Contact the local school and/ or district office for the name, address and phone number of the designated hearing official. Each school has a copy of the complete policy which may be reviewed by any interested party. The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure.

Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year.  If you are not eligible now but have a decrease in income, become unemployed, have an increase in family size, or become eligible for SNAP, FDPIR or TANF benefits or become categorically eligible, you may fill out an application at that time.

Non-discrimination Statement: In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form.

To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Janet Fogel, Food Services Director
Mancos School District RE-6
395 W Grand Avenue
Mancos CO 81328
970-759-1813
jfogel@mancosre6.edu

 
     
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