Free and Reduced Price School Meals
Online Application Now Available
|We have digitized the application for free and reduced price school meals! We know that this has been a barrier for many families in completing the form, and we hope that with the transition to online access, more families will take advantage.
The application is live and can be accessed here: Online Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals/Milk (click on “Select District & Continue”).
Free and reduced price meal applications are available in all schools and online. Applications for the 2022-2023 school year are now available. All applications and information for free and reduced price meals are CONFIDENTIAL.
The Ithaca City School District offers free and reduced price meal plans. Our schools' eligibility rates for free and reduced price meals also help us receive additional aid and grant money.
Translated applications are also available on the USDA website.Please call (607) 274-2302 if you have any questions.
Letter to Parents for School Meal Programs 2022-2023
Children need healthy meals to learn. The Ithaca City School District offers healthy meals every school day. As of July 1, 2019, students in New York State that are approved for reduced price meals will receive breakfast and lunch meals, and snacks served through the Afterschool Snack Program, at no charge.
Do I need to fill out an application for each child?
Who can get free meals?All children in households receiving benefits from SNAP, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, or TANF can get free meals regardless of income. Categorical eligibility for free meal benefits is extended to all children in a household when the application lists an Assistance Program’s case number for any household member. Also, your children can get free meals if your household’s gross income is within the free limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Households with children who are categorically eligible through an Other Source Categorically Eligible designation, as defined by law, may be eligible for free benefits and should contact the SFA for assistance in receiving benefits.
Can foster children get free meals?Yes. Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals. Any foster child in the household is eligible for free meals regardless of income. Foster children may also be included as a member of the foster family if the foster family chooses to also apply for benefits for other children. Including children in foster care as household members may help other children in the household qualify for benefits. If non-foster children in a foster family are not eligible for free or reduced price meal benefits, an eligible foster child will still receive free benefits.
Yes. Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant qualify for free meals. If you haven’t been told your children will get free meals, please contact Michelle Yaple at (607) 274-2117 or email@example.com to see if they qualify.
Can homeless, runaway, and migrant children get free meals?
Your children may be approved as reduced price eligible if your household income is within the reduced-price limits on the Federal Eligibility Income Chart, shown on this letter. Beginning July 1, 2019, students in New York State that are approved for reduced price meals will receive breakfast and lunch meals, and snacks served through the Afterschool Snack Program, at no charge.
Who can get reduced price meals?
Please read the letter you received carefully and follow the instructions. Call (607) 274-2117 if you have any questions.
Should I fill out an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are approved for free meals?
Yes. Your child’s application is only good for that school year and for up to the first 30 operating days of this school year. You must send in a new application unless the school told you that your child is eligible for the new school year.
My child's application was approved last year. Do I need to fill out another one?
Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please fill out a free/reduced price meal application.
I get WIC. Can my child(ren) get free meals?
Yes, and we may also ask you to send written proof.
Will the information I give be checked?
Yes. You may apply at any time during the school year. For example, children with a parent or guardian who becomes unemployed may become eligible for free and reduced price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.
If I don't qualify now, may I apply later?
What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application?
Yes. You or your child(ren) do not have to be U.S. citizens to qualify for free or reduced price meals.
May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen?
You must include all people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends), who share income and expenses. You must include yourself and all children living with you. If you live with other people who are economically independent (for example, people whom you do not support, who do not share income with you or your children, and who pay a pro-rated share of expenses), do not include them.
Who should I include as members of my household?
List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1,000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1,000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes. If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.
What if my income is not always the same?
If you get an off-base housing allowance, it must be included as income. However, if your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income.
We are in the military. Do we include our housing allowance as income?
No. If the combat pay is received in addition to their basic pay because of their deployment and it wasn’t received before they were deployed, combat pay is not counted as income. Contact your school for more information.
My spouse is deployed to a combat zone. Is their pay counted as an income?
To find out how to apply for SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 1-800-342-3009.
My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for?
2022-2023 Income Eligibility Guidelines for Free and Reduced Price Meals or Free Milk
(click to enlarge)
Reduced Price Eligibility Income Chart
How to Apply
Reduced Price Eligible Students
In the operation of child feeding programs, no child will be discriminated against because of race, sex, color, national origin, age or disability.
Meal Service to Children With Disabilities
The disclosure of eligibility information not specifically authorized by the NSLA requires a written consent statement from the parent/guardian. We will let you know when your application is approved or denied.
Nondiscrimination StatementThis explains what to do if you believe you have been treated unfairly.
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:
Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
Fax: (202) 690-7442