The Block Island Times

School lunch and breakfast program eligibility

Nov 01, 2013

Block Island School has announced its policy for providing free and reduced price meals for children unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.

The Block Island School and the office of the Superintendent has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

Application forms are sent to all households; additional copies are available at the principal’s office at each school. Applications may be submitted to the school at any time during the school year. The information provided on the application by a household is confidential and will be used to determine eligibility for school meal benefits. Applications must contain complete documentation of eligibility information requested, including (1) names of all household members, (2) social security number of the adult household member who signs the application, (3) amount and source of income received by each household member, and (4) the signature of an adult household member certifying that the information provided is correct. There are several ways in which children can be eligible for school meal benefits. Foster children may be eligible for meal benefits regardless of the income of the household with whom they reside.

Children in households receiving food stamps or SNAP or RI Works Benefits may be automatically eligible for school meal benefits. The R.I. Department of Education (RIDE) and the R.I. Department of Human Services (DHS) have worked together to automate the Direct Certification process that certifies students for free school meal benefits. This process is called Electronic Direct Certification (eDC) and was implemented during the 2008-2009 School Year. These families will receive an informational letter from DHS indicating that the children are automatically eligible for meal benefits and no further action is needed.

Households receiving food stamps or SNAP or RI Works Benefits that have not been matched by electronic Direct Certification will receive a letter from DHS instructing them to bring the letter to school, and a meal benefit application is not required. For households receiving food stamps or SNAP or RI Works Benefits that are not issued letters, their Food Stamp or SNAP or RI Works Benefits case number may be reported on the meal benefit application in place of household and income information. Meal benefit applications may be checked for accuracy. School officials may ask for documentation verifying the information provided on the application.

Applications may be submitted at any time during the year. Under the provisions of the free and reduced price policy,

Marsha Gutierrez, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, will review applications and determine eligibility.

Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may wish to discuss the decision with the eligibility official on an informal basis. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request either orally or in writing to Block Island School Principal John Canole, P.O. Box 1890, Block Island, R.I. 02807; (401) 466-5600.

The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only for purposes of determining eligibility and verifying data.

In accordance with Federal law and the U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Further, the R.I. Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or religion. To file a complaint of discrimination with the state, write to the R.I. Department of Education, Director, Office of Equity and Access, 255 Westminster Street, Providence, R.I. 02903 or call (401) 222-4600.

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