Monday, August 17, 2009

Free and Reduced Lunch Policy Announced

The San Diego Unified School District today announced its policy for providing free and reduced-price meals for children served under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. The Food Services central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

The household size and income criteria identified will be used to determine eligibility for free, reduced-price (currently there is no charge for reduced-price meals in San Diego Unified School District), or full-price meal
benefits (meal prices are $ 1.00 for breakfast, $2.00 for elementary lunch,
and $2.50 for secondary lunch). Children from households whose gross
income is at or below the levels shown here are eligible for free or reducedprice
meals. Children who receive Food Stamp (FS), California Work
Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), Kinship Guardianship
Assistance Payments (Kin-GAP), or Food Distribution Program on Indian
Reservations (FDPIR) benefits are automatically eligible for free meals
regardless of the income of the household in which they reside. Eligibility for
a foster child is based on a separate application and solely on the amount of
the child's “personal use” income.

Forms will be distributed to households with a letter informing them of the
availability of free and reduced-price meals for enrolled children.
Applications are also available at the office in each school. To apply for free
or reduced-price meal benefits, households must complete an application and return it to the school office or mail it to the central Food Services office
for processing. Applications may be submitted at any time during the school
year. The information households provide on the application will be used to
determine meal eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school
year by school or program officials.
Requirements for school officials to determine eligibility for free and
reduced-price benefits are as follows: For households receiving Food
Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR benefits – applications need only
include the enrolled child(ren)'s name, Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP,
or FDPIR case number, and the signature of an adult household member.
For households who do not list a Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or
FDPIR case number, the application must include the names of all
household members, the gross amount and source of the income received
by each household member, and the signature and corresponding Social
Security number of an adult household member. If the household member
who signs the application does not have a Social Security number, the
household member must check the box indicating on the application that
they do not have a Social Security number.
Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, the
determining official(s), as designated by the San Diego Unified School
District Food Services department, shall review applications and determine
eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the eligibility ruling may
discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis.
Parents may also make a formal request for an appeal hearing of the
decision and may do so orally or in writing with the Food Services hearing
official. Parents or guardians should contact Food Services for specific
information regarding the name of the determining official and/or hearing
official for San Diego Unified School District.
If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size
increases, the household should contact Food Services. 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.
Households that receive Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR
benefits may not have to complete an Application for Free or Reduced-Price
Meals. Food Service officials will determine eligibility for free meals based
on documentation obtained directly from the Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-
GAP, or FDPIR office that a child is a member of a household currently
receiving Food Stamp or FDPIR benefits or an assistance unit receiving
CalWORKs or Kin-GAP benefits. Food Service officials will notify
households of their eligibility, but those who do not want their child(ren) to
receive free meals must contact Food Services. Food Stamp, CalWORKs,
Kin-GAP, and FDPIR households should complete an application if they are
not notified of their eligibility by September 5, 2009.

To find out more about the free and reduced-price meal program, contact
Food Services as (858) 627-7328 or on the web at
In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
policy, the San Diego Unified School District is prohibited from
discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or
disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office
of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue,
SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD).
The USDA is an equal opportunity provider.