USDA RELEASES 2011-12 POLICY FOR FREE OR REDUCED-PRICE MEALS
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction today announced the 2011-12 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy for free and reduced-price meals for children enrolled in North Carolina's schools. The USDA's school meals programs help ensure all students have access to nutritious meals at school.
"Children who are hungry do not do as well in the classroom as those who are well-nourished," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "The Child Nutrition Program helps address this problem by offering children an affordable, high quality, nutritious, and appealing breakfast, lunch and after-school snack."
Following are the federal income eligibility guidelines for July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012:
|ANNUAL||MONTHLY||TWICE PER MONTH||EVERY TWO WEEKS||WEEKLY|
|FREE||REDUCED PRICE||FREE||REDUCED PRICE||FREE||REDUCED PRICE||FREE||REDUCED PRICE||FREE||REDUCED PRICE|
|For each additional household member|
The household size and income criteria identified above will be used to determine eligibility for free and reduced-price meal benefits. Children from households whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Children who are members of households that are eligible to receive Food Stamp or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are automatically eligible for free meals. Food Stamp/TANF families will be certified by the determining official by Direct Certification. Foster children who are the legal responsibility of a welfare agency or court are considered categorically eligible for free meal benefits regardless of the income of the household with whom they reside.
Application forms should be available in the principal's office at each school. To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households must complete the application and return it to the school or to the Child Nutrition Office within the school district. Food Stamp/TANF families do not need to complete an application because they are automatically certified by the determining official via Direct Certification. The Child Nutrition Administrator for the school district or his/her designee will use the information households provide on the application to determine eligibility. Applications may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials.
If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household's income falls at or below the levels shown above.
A list of some of the most commonly asked questions and answers is available on the NCDPI Child Nutrition Services website at www.ncpublicschools.org/childnutrition . For more information, please contact the Child Nutrition Administrator in the school district, charter school or non-public school in which your child is enrolled or contact the NCDPI Communications division at 919.807.3450.
About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.
For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.