Public Announcement Regarding Free Meals


Needham Public Schools
will be participating in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. As part of these programs, Needham Public Schools will offer healthy meals every school day. The Massachusetts legislature has provided funding to make meals available at no cost to all students during the school year 2022-2023, regardless of household income. However, families should still complete a Meal Benefit Application, as this provides data for key funding for academic resources and may also connect families to additional benefits.  This data will also support the additional funds provided by the Commonwealth for this pilot.

Qualifications for children to receive free or reduced-price meals include: belonging to a household whose income is at or below the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines, belonging to a household that receives public assistance, or if the child is homeless, migrant, runaway, foster, or participates in a Head Start or Even Start pre-K program.

Household size and income criteria are used to determine eligibility for free and reduced-price benefits if the household does not receive assistance or the children are not in the other categories mentioned above. Children can get free or reduced-price meals if the household’s gross income falls at or below the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guideline chart.

FEDERAL ELIGIBILITY INCOME CHART For School Year 2022-2023

 

Maximum Household Income Eligible for Free Meals

Maximum Household Income Eligible for Reduced Price Meals

Household size

Yearly

Monthly

Weekly

Yearly

Monthly

Weekly

1

$17,667

$1,473

$340

$25,142

$2,096

$484

2

$23,803

$1,984

$458

$33,874

$2,823

$652

3

$29,939

$2,495

$576

$42,606

$3,551

$820

4

$36,075

$3,007

$694

$51,338

$4,279

$988

5

$42,211

$3,518

$812

$60,070

$5,006

$1,156

6

$48,347

$4,029

$930

$68,802

$5,734

$1,324

7

$54,483

$4,541

$1,048

$77,534

$6,462

$1,492

8

$60,619

$5,052

$1,166

$86,266

$7,189

$1,659

Each additional person:

+6,136

+512

+118

+8,732

+728

+168

To apply for free or reduced-price meals, house­holds can fill out the application and return it to the school unless the household has already received notification that their children are approved for free meals this year. Application forms are being distributed to all households with a letter informing households of the availability of free and reduced-price meals for their children and what is required to complete on the application. Applications also are avail­able in the Nutrition Services Office at 1330 Highland Avenue, Needham and on the Needham Public Schools-Nutrition Services website.

Only one application is required for all children in the household and the information provided on the appli­ca­tion will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and verification of data.  Applications may be verified at any time during the school year by the school or other program officials. An application for free or reduced-price benefits cannot be approved unless it contains complete eligibility information as indicated on the application and instructions. In the operation of child feeding programs, no child will be discriminated against because of race, sex, color, national origin, age, or disability.

Families can apply for benefits at any time. 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 Federal Guidelines. Contact Danielle Collins, Nutrition Services Director, at 781-455-0400 x11219 at any time to request an application.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price policy, Danielle Collins, Nutrition Services Director, will review applications and determine eligibility.  Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either orally or in writing to Anne Gulati, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, 1330 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA 02492, phone: 781-455-0400 x11206 or email: [email protected].

When known to Needham Public Schools, households will be notified of their children’s eligibility for free meals if they are members of households receiving assistance from the:

·       Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
·       Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR); or
·       Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), if the State program meets Federal standards.

An application is not required for free meal benefits for Assistance Program participants, and all of the children in the household are eligible for free meal benefits. If any children were not listed on the notice of eligibility, or if a household does not receive a notice of eligibility, the household should contact the school to have free meal benefits extended to them. Participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals, but they will need to turn in an application including household size and total income.

When known to Needham Public Schools, households will also be notified of any child’s eligibility for free meals if the individual child is considered “Other Source Categorically Eligible,” because the child is categorized, as defined by law as:

·       Foster
·       Homeless,
·       Migrant,
·       Runaway,
·       Enrolled in an eligible Head Start, or
·       Enrolled in an eligible pre-kindergarten class.

If any children were not listed on the notice of eligibility, the household should contact the school about their eligibility through the list above, or should submit an income application. Households notified of their children’s eligibility must contact the school if the household chooses to decline the benefits.

For more information, you may call Danielle Collins, Nutrition Services Director, at 781-455-0400 x11219 or email: [email protected]


Non-Discrimination Statement:

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted 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; or

2.     fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or

3.     email:  [email protected]                        

 

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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