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Meal Applications

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Free and Reduced Price Meals are available to families who believe they may qualify. If your family chooses to apply please complete a "Free and Reduced Meal Price Application Form." The forms can be obtained and returned (completed) to any school office. You will be notified by mail of your child's status. Until notification you must provide your child with a lunch or lunch money.

Only complete one application per family. The information you give will be used to determine or prove your child's eligibility for free or reduced-priced meals. This information may also be used for other state or federally funded school benefits.

Factors considered in the application process are household size and total household income. HOUSEHOLD SIZE is considered all persons, related or unrelated: Including parents, children, grandparents who live in your home and share living expenses. The TOTAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME is the income each household member received last month before taxes - this includes wages, social security, pension, unemployment, welfare, child support, alimony, and any other cash income.

Foster children are categorically eligible for free meal benefits. An application is not needed yet there does need to be documentation of status by a state or local entity familiar with the child's status. Foster children may be included in the household application as part of the household size.

Information About Free and Reduced-Price Meals

The goal of Pickerington Schools Food Service is to improve the health and education of our students and staff by providing nutritionally well-balanced meals. Menus are available in all school offices and cafeterias. Reduced-price lunch is 40 cents. Breakfast is served at Central, Lakeview, Ridgeview, Diley, Harmon, Toll Gate Middle, Fairfield, Heritage, Pickerington, Tussing and Violet. Reduced-price breakfast is 30 cents.

Free/reduced-price meals: Your children may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. If you wish to apply for meal benefits, please read the instructions below and complete the application. Fill out the application online (after Aug. 3) or download, print, and complete the application on the link belowUse one application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete.

Do not fill out an application if you received a letter about direct certification for free meals. Contact the school if any of your children are not listed on the certification letter.

Children receiving SNAP (formerly food stamps) or OWF are eligible for free meal benefits. If your total household income is the same or less than the amounts shown on the income chart, your child may receive free or reduced-price meals. A foster child is eligible to receive free meals regardless of your household income. If you receive WIC your child may be eligible for meal benefits. Please fill out an application. Homeless, runaway, and migrant children receive free meals. Please call the school or your homeless or migrant coordinator to see if your child(ren) qualify. You may apply even if you or your child(ren) are not a U.S. citizen.

When filling out an application you must include all people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends.) You must include yourself and all children who live with you. You must include income from everyone living in the household, related or not. Call 866-711-7341 to check to see if your child’s application is approved. We will notify you in writing only if your application is denied.

Verification: School officials may ask you at any time during the school year to provide proof of eligibility.

Fair Hearing: Contact Pickerington Food Services if you do not agree with the decision on your application or the results of verification. If you are not satisfied after speaking to Food Service, you may ask for a fair hearing by writing Vince Utterback, Business Manager, Pickerington Schools, 90 East St., Pickerington, OH 43147, or by calling 614-833-2110.

If you have other questions or heed help, call:614-833-3645.

Si Necesita ayuda, por favor llame al telefono: 614-833-3645.

Si vous voudriez d’aide, contactez nour au nemero: 614-833-3645.

Reapplication: You may apply for meal benefits any time during the school year. If you are not eligible now but have a decrease in household income, become unemployed, have an increase in household size, or receive SNAP (formerly food stamps) or OWF for your child, you may reapply.

Confidentiality: Food Service will provide information about your child’s eligibility to other school officials. This information is used to determine if your child is eligible for a waiver of school instructional fees. On the application, please check the box “yes” if you want this information shared. Check “no” if you do not want this information shared. Please sign the waiver choice. Answering the question either way will not change whether your child will get meal benefits.

Last year’s eligibility: Children who were approved last year must have a new application approved this year to continue receiving meal benefits. New applications must be received in the Food Service office no later than September 28, 2016, or your child will be dropped from the program.

Special dietary needs: All meals served in our cafeterias meet meal pattern requirements and national dietary guidelines; however, if a child has a disability that prevents eating regular school meals, we will make doctor prescribed substitutions at no extra charge. If you believe your child has special dietary needs due to a disability, you may contact Food Service Supervisor Judy Riley at 614-833-3645.

Online applications: Online applications are now available. You may apply and submit your application for meal benefits after August 3, 2016, at this link.

Additional help: Contact your local assistance office or call 877-852-0010 to find out about additional programs that are available.

Non-discrimination statement: 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, martial 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 bases 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 www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call 866-632-9992 to request a form. You may also write a letter. Send your completed complaint form or letter by mail at U.S.Dept. of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave. S.W. Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or fax to 202-690-7442 or emailProgram.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.

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 & 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.

Applications in Other Languages

Applications for free and reduced price meals are available in many languages on the USDA’s website.

Please note that the online application system for free and reduced lunches will not be active until approximately August 3, 2016.

H.O.P.E. Packs (Community Program)

Each week the H.O.P.E. Packs Program offers a weekend bag of food for children who meet the requirements. If your child in the past has received a H.O.P.E. Pack, have been eligible for free or reduced lunch, or your household income is low, complete the attached application to receive the weekly bags throughout the school year.

Before going home each Friday, your child will pick up a bag of food from his or her school’s office. The food is intended to be kid-friendly, easy to prepare, and supply supplemental food over the weekend. The bags are not to be opened until your child gets home.

To sign up for this free program, complete the included application and return it to your child’s school. All personal information will be strictly confidential. Eligible students will not be able to receive their food until the attached form has been completed and returned.

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