The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs as administered by Dade County Public Schools provides free and reduced priced meals for children unable to pay the full price.
    Students from households who receive food stamps and/or Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) and who have a social security number on file at the school may be eligible for direct certification. Students approved by direct certification are not required to have an application on file.
    Application forms are sent to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced priced meals, parents of students not approved by direct certification must fill out the application and return it to the school. Additional copies are available in the principal's office.
    Children from households with incomes of less than or equal to the income criteria may be eligible for either free or reduced priced meals.
    Each school and the school system's Department of Food and Nutrition have copies which are available to the public.

Important: A new family meal application must be filled out at the beginning of each school year in order for meal benefits to continue. Meal benefits begin on the day the application is approved at the school site and continue throughout the school year in which the application is approved, the summer, and approximately the first twenty days of next school year. Any student who does not have a current application on file at the school site will be unable to receive meal benefits after September 8, 2006.

 

Frequently Asked Questions regarding completing a Free and Reduced Meal Application

 

Students from households that meet Federal Guidelines are eligible for free lunch or reduced price lunch ($.40). Full price students pay $1.75 in elementary school and $2.00 in middle or senior high school. Breakfast is free to all students. Below are questions frequently asked concerning Free and Reduced Price Meal Applications.

 

1-           Do I need to fill out an application for each of my children? No. Use one Free and Reduced Price Meal Application for all students in your household. Exception: If you are applying for a foster child, you must complete a separate application for each foster child.

 

2-      What happens if I do not complete all the information on my application? We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information. Return the completed application to the school where your youngest child attends.

 

3-           How do I report my household income? You must report the gross income amount of each member of your household. In addition, you must fill in the appropriate pay frequency circle.

(W= Weekly, 2W = Every 2 weeks, M = Monthly, 2M = Twice a Month)

 

4-           Who qualifies for free lunch? Children in households receiving Food Stamps or TANF and most foster children qualify for free lunch regardless of your household income. Also, your children will qualify for free lunch if your household income is within the limits on the Income Eligibility Guidelines.

 

5-           Who qualifies for reduced price lunch? Your children can be approved for low cost lunch if your household income is within the reduced price meal limits on the Federal Income Chart shown on the application.

 

6-           Who should I include as members of my household? You must include all people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives or friends). You must include yourself and children who live with you.

 

7-           May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen? Yes. You or your child(ren) do not have to be U.S. citizens to qualify for free or reduced price meals.

 

8-           What if my income is not always the same? List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally receive $1,000 each month, but you worked less last month and only got paid $900, write $1,000 per month on the application. If you normally receive overtime, include it, but not if the overtime is only occasional.