4:130 Free and Reduced-Price Food Services
The Superintendent shall be responsible for implementing the District’s free and reduced-price food services policy and all applicable programs.
Eligibility Criteria and Selection of Children
A student’s eligibility for free and reduced-price food services shall be determined by the income eligibility guidelines, family-size income standards, set annually by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and distributed by the Illinois State Board of Education.
At the beginning of each school year, by letter, the District shall notify students and their parents/guardians of: (1) eligibility requirements for free and reduced-price food service; (2) the application process; (3) the name and telephone number of a contact person for the program; and (4) other information required by federal law. The Superintendent shall provide the same information to: (1) informational media, the local unemployment office, and any major area employers contemplating layoffs; and (2) the District’s website (if applicable), all school newsletters, or students’ registration materials. Parents/guardians enrolling a child in the District for the first time, any time during the school year, shall receive the eligibility information.
The District shall avoid publicly identifying students receiving free or reduced-price meals and shall use methods for collecting meal payments that prevent identification of children receiving assistance.
A family may appeal the District’s decision to deny an application for free and reduced-price food services or to terminate such services as outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 7 C.F.R. §245.7, Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced-Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools. The Superintendent shall establish a hearing procedure for adverse eligibility decisions and provide by mail a copy of them to the family. The District may also use these procedures to challenge a child’s continued eligibility for free or reduced-price meals or milk.
During an appeal, students previously receiving food service benefits shall not have their benefits terminated. Students who were denied benefits shall not receive benefits during the appeal.
The Superintendent shall keep on file for a period of 3 years a record of any appeals made and the hearing record. The District shall also maintain accurate and complete records showing the data and method used to determine the number of eligible students served free and reduced-price food services. These records shall be maintained for 3 years.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, National School Lunch Program, 7 C.F.R. Part 210.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced-Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools, 7 C.F.R. Part 245.
105 ILCS 125/ and 126/.
23 Ill.Admin.Code §305.10 et seq.
First Reading: May 10, 2017
Adopted: June 14, 2017
Date: June 2017
To: Students, Parents/Guardians, and Staff
Re: Eligibility and Meal Charge Notifications
The following notification is provided at the beginning of each school year as federally required notification regarding eligibility requirements and the application process for the free and reduced-price food services that are listed in Board policy 4:130, Free and Reduced-Price Food Services and 4:140, Waiver of Student Fees. For more information, see www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/unpaid-meal-charges, and/or contact the Building Principal or designee.
Free and Reduced-Price Food Services Eligibility
When students are unable to pay for their meal services, meal charges will apply per a student’s eligibility category and will be processed by the District accordingly.
A student’s eligibility for free and reduced-price food services shall be determined by the income eligibility guidelines, family-size income standards, set annually by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and distributed by the Illinois State Board of Education.
Meal Charges for Meals Provided by the District
The Building Principal and District staff will work jointly to prevent meal charges from accumulating. Every effort to collect all funds due to the District will be made on a regular basis and before the end of the school year. Contact your Building Principal or designee about whether your charges may be carried over at the end of the school year, i.e., beyond June 30th.
Unpaid meal charges are considered delinquent debt when payment is overdue as defined by Board policy 4:45, Insufficient Fund Checks and Debt Recovery. The District will make reasonable efforts to collect charges classified as delinquent debt.
When a student’s funds are low or there is a negative balance, reminders will be provided to the staff, students, and their parent(s)/guardian(s) at regular intervals during the school year. If a parent/guardian regularly fails to provide meal money and does not qualify for free meal benefits, the Building Principal or designee, will direct the next course of action. Continual failure to provide meal money may require the District to notify the Ill. Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and/or take legal steps to recover the unpaid meal charges.
Kristin A. Kopta, Ed.D