School districts, including Hallsville, Harleton and Elysian Fields ISDs, have recently announced their policy for providing free and reduced price meals for children served under the current income eligibility guidelines.

Each school/site or central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by anyone on request.

Area district campuses will soon begin distributing letters to the households of children in the district about eligibility benefits and any actions households need to take to apply for these benefits.

Applications are also available at respective district food service offices, administration buildings or campuses.

Criteria for free and reduced-price meal benefits

  • Household income that is at or below the income eligibility levels.
  • Household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).
  • Child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant or displaced by a declared disaster.
  • Child’s enrollment in Head Start or Even Start.

Income Eligibility

For those households that qualify for free or reduced price meals based on income, an adult in the household must fill out free and reduced-price meal application and return it to the student’s campus or food service director.

Those individuals filling out the application will need to provide the following information:

  • Names of all household members.
  • Amount, frequency and source of current income for each household member.
  • Last 4 digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application or, if the adult does not have a Social Security number, check the box for “No Social Security number.”
  • Signature of an adult household member attesting that the information provided is correct.

Categorical or Program Eligibility

School districts work with local agencies to identify all children who are categorically and program eligible. Districts will notify the households of these children that they do not need to complete an application. Any household that does not receive a letter and feels its should have should contact respective food service directors.

Any household that wishes to decline benefits should contact the food service director.

Applications may be submitted anytime during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility. Applications may also be verified by the school officials at any time during the school year.

Determining Eligibility

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, the food service director will review applications and determine eligibility. Households or guardians dissatisfied with the reviewing official’s eligibility determination may wish to discuss the decision with the official on an informal basis. Households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either orally or in writing to district administration.

Unexpected circumstances

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 current income eligibility guidelines.

More information

Contact respective school district administrators, food service directors or campus principals to find out what district are offering in regard to free and reduced lunch programs.