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Schools announce policy for free and reduced meals

August 31, 2017
The Town Crier

Austintown Local School District announced its 2017-2018 program year policy for free and reduced-price meals for students unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program. Each school office and the central office have a copy of the policy available for review. The Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines will be used for determining eligibility. Children from families whose annual income is at or below the federal guidelines are eligible for free and reduced-price meals.

The schools encourage families to apply on or retrieve a paper copy on the website, Applying online allows for fewer errors and instant eligibility notifications. The student identification number is required to apply online. Paper applications are also available at each school building office.

A complete application is required. Households which currently receive Special Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits (SNAP) or Ohio Works First (OWF) benefits for a child must provide the child's name, the SNAP or OWF case number, and signature of an adult household member on the application. Households that do not receive SNAP or OWF benefits must provide the names of all household members, the last four digits of the Social Security number of the signing adult (or state "none" if the adult does not have a Social Security Number), the amount and source of income received by each household member, and the signature of an adult household member. Households will be notified of the approval or denial of benefits. If any of this information is missing, the school cannot process the application.

The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program official. To discourage the possibility of misrepresentation, the application forms contain a statement above the space for signature certifying that all information furnished is true and correct. Applications are being made in connection with the receipt of federal funds. Schools or other officials may check the information on the application at any time during the school year. Deliberate misrepresentation of information may subject the applicant to prosecution under applicable state and federal laws.

Foster children are categorically eligible for free meal benefits regardless of the household's income, but must still complete an application. If a family has foster children living with them and wishes to apply for such meals for them, contact the school for more information.

Under the provision of the policy, Austintown Local School District's Administrative Food Services Department office will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent or guardian disagrees with the decision on the application or the result of verification, the decision may be discussed with the determining official on an informal basis. If a formal appeal is desired, the household has the right to a fair hearing. A fair hearing can be requested either orally or in writing from: Vincent Colaluca, 700 S. Raccoon Road, Austintown, OH 44515; 330-797-3900, Ext. 1509.



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