Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Lewisville ISD transitions back to application requirement for free and reduced-price school meals

Back to School and Back to Normal in the Cafeteria

During the COVID-19 pandemic, congress authorized spending that allowed schools to serve free meals for all students. Those funds are not authorized to continue for the 2022-2023 school year. As a result, Lewisville ISD must return to charging for school meals and offering free and reduced-price meals based on student eligibility.

Starting the last week of July, the LISD Child Nutrition department will begin distributing letters and applications to all schools in LISD, concerning eligibility benefits. Families are encouraged to complete the application online for quickest turnaround. The Free and Reduced Application can be found online at  www.lisd.net/freeandreduced. If you would like to complete a paper copy of the application, forms can be printed and turned in to any school office, or to the child nutrition department, upon completion.

The application will determine a child’s eligibility for free and reduced-price meals and may assist in the determination of eligibility for other state or federal benefits. Only one application needs to be completed per household. Schools will notify the household of the child’s eligibility. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) administers school nutrition programs in Texas and offers an eligibility calculator at www.SquareMeals.org/ProgramEligibility.

Criteria for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits

The following criteria will be used to determine a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meal benefits:

Income Eligibility

  1. Household income that is at or below the income eligibility levels

Categorical or Automatic Eligibility

  1. Household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

Program Participant Eligibility

  1. Child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant, or displaced by a declared disaster
  2. 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 a free and reduced-price meal application and return it to any school office or to the Child Nutrition department. Those individuals filling out the application will need to provide the following information:

  1. Names of all household members
  2. Amount, frequency, and source of current income for each household member
  3. 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”
  4. Signature of an adult household member attesting that the information provided is correct

Categorical or Program Participant Eligibility

LISD is working with local agencies to identify all children who are categorically program eligible. LISD’s Child Nutrition department 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 it should, can contact the free and reduced specialist, Jessica Cobos, at 469-948-2027 or email at [email protected].

Any household that wishes to decline benefits should contact the free and reduced specialist, Jessica Cobos at 469-948-2027 or email at [email protected].

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, Cobos 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 Reviewing 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 the Manager of Contract Services, Jeremy Turner, at 972-350-4750 or by email at [email protected].

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 attached current income eligibility guidelines.

To find more information about the Child Nutrition program at LISD you can go to lisd.net/childnutrition.

For any additional questions, you can submit an email to [email protected] or call 469-713-5207.

In the operation of child feeding programs, no child will be discriminated against because of race, sex, color, national origin, age, or disability. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

(Submitted by Lewisville ISD)

CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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