The Delaware Department of Education announced July 28 the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s policy for free and reduced price meals for children unable to pay the full price for meals served under the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program and the After School Snack Program.


    The Delaware Department of Education announced July 28 the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s policy for free and reduced price meals for children unable to pay the full price for meals served under the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program and the After School Snack Program. Each participating school and its administrative office has a copy of the policies, which may be reviewed by any interested party.
    Meal Benefit Forms are being sent home with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced price meals, households should fill out the Family Meal Benefit Form for their household and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at the principal’s office in each school. The information provided on the Meal Benefit Forms will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials.
    For school officials to determine eligibility, households receiving food stamps and/or Delaware Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (DE-TANF) must list the child’s name, their food stamp and/or DE-TANF case number and provide a signature and name of an adult household member. Households not receiving food stamps and/or DE-TANF must list names of all household members, the amount of the gross income for each household member received last month, the income source and how often received, the signature of an adult household member, and that adult’s social security number; the word “none” or “No Social Security Number” box marked if the adult does not have a social security number. Meal Benefit Forms may be submitted at any time during the school year.
    Under the provisions of the free and reduced price policy, the nutrition services supervisor will review Meal Benefit Forms and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. The parents or guardians wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request either orally or in writing to the administrative office for a hearing on the decision.
    In certain cases, children in foster care and children receiving WIC may also be eligible for school meal benefits. If a household wishes to apply for benefits for foster children living with them, the household should contact their school for more information.
Changes or an reapplication for meal benefits may be made anytime during the school year.
    The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only for purposes of determining eligibility and verifying data.
In the operation of child nutrition feeding programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, no child will be discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. If any member of a household believes they have been discriminated against, they should write immediately to the USDA Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call 1-800-795-3272 or 202-720-6382.