Free and Reduced Price School MealsF pplications are available in all schools and online. Applications for the 2021-2022 school year are now available.
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 2021-2022
Children need healthy meals to learn. The Ithaca City School District offers healthy meals every school day.
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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?
2021-2022 Income Eligibility Guidelines for Free and Reduced Price Meals or Free Milk
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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, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter 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