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SFPS Nutrition Department Announces Free-and-Reduced-Price Meal Policy


Santa Fe Public Schools announced today its policy for free-and-reduced-price meals for children unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program and the After School Snack Program.  Each school and the SFPS Student Nutrition Office have a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

Students who attend the following schools will need to fill out an application to determine eligibility for free, reduced-price or full-price meals:  Acequia Madre, Atalaya, Carlos Gilbert, Chaparral, Pinon and Wood Gormley Elementary Schools, Amy Biehl, El Dorado and Gonzales Community Schools, Milagro Middle School and Santa Fe High School.

Household size and income criteria will be used to determine eligibility as follows:

  • Children from households whose income is at or below the following levels are eligible for free-or-reduced-price meals.

  • Requirements for school officials to determine eligibility for free-or-reduced-price benefits are as follows: For households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),  Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, applications need only include the enrolled child(ren)’s name, SNAP or FDPIR case number and the signature of an adult household member.

  • For households that do not list a SNAP, FDPIR  or TANF case number, the application must include the names of all household members, the amount and source of the income received by each household member and the signature and corresponding Social Security number of an adult household member.  If the household member who signs the application does not have a Social Security number, the household member must indicate on the application that a Social Security number is not available.

Beginning July 1, 2018, applications may be completed electronically from any computer with Internet access at www.myschoolapps.com. Adult household members may also come to the SFPS Student Nutrition office at 2600 Cerrillos Road or the Education Service Center at 610 Alta Vista to pick up a paper form.  For questions, please call Student Nutrition at 505-467-3600

If a student received meal benefits in the 2017-2018 school year, his or her status will remain in effect until a new application is processed,  up to 30 days into the new school year. If a new application is not processed within 30 days into the new school year, the student must pay full price for meals. Students who are new to SFPS will need to pay for meals until their application has been processed.  Parents can pre-pay by 1) sending a cash or check pre-payment to school with their child for the cafeteria or 2) paying online at www.myschoolbucks.com.  Costs for each meal are as follows:

·          Breakfast at all schools $1.20

·          Elementary and K-8 full-price lunch $2.30

·          Milagro Middle School full-price lunch $2.60

·          Santa Fe High School full-price lunch $2.75

SFPS will implement the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for Free Meal Reimbursement in the 2018-2019 school year.  The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 includes CEP to insure that every student in low-income neighborhoods and/or districts can participate in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.  To qualify, a district or school must have 40 percent or more of its students eligible for free meals based on direct certification. This eliminates the procedure of distributing and processing meal applications.

The following schools will participate in CEP and offer meals at no charge to all students: Aspen and Nina Otero Community Schools, Cesar Chavez, Kearny, Nava, Salazar, Sweeney and Tesuque Elementary Schools, El Camino Real Academy, Nye Early Childhood Center, Ortiz Middle School and Early College Opportunities High School (ECO).

Students attending Ramirez Thomas Elementary School or Capital High School, which are Provision II schools,  will be offered free meals regardless of income through the 2018-2019 school year, based on prior-year free-and-reduced percentages, unless otherwise notified.

The following questions/answers provide additional information to parents on applying to determine eligibility for free, reduced-price or full-price meals:

1.    Do I need to fill out an application for each child?  No.  Use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in your household.  SFPS cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information. Return the completed application to your child’s school or the Student Nutrition Office at 2600 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, NM  87505.

2.     Who can get free meals?  All children in households receiving benefits from state SNAP (Food Stamps), FDPIR or TANF are eligible.  Eligibility for a foster child is based on a separate application and solely on the amount of the child’s “personal use” income.  Also, your child(ren) can get free-price meals if your household income is within the free limits on the Federal Income Guidelines.

3.    Can homeless, runaway and migrant children get free meals?  Please call the SFPS homeless liaison at 467-2571 to see if your child(ren) qualify if you have not been informed that they will get free meals.

4.    Who can get reduced price meals? Your children can get low-cost meals if your household income is within the reduced price limits of the federal income chart (see page 2).

5.    How will I know if my children are approved for free-or-reduced-price meals?  An approval letter will be sent home with your child(ren).  Please keep this letter for future program enrollment, i.e. summer programs.  Call the SFPS Student Nutrition Office at 467-3600 if you have questions.

6.    I get WIC. Can my child(ren) get free meals?  Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free-or-reduced-price meals.  Please fill out an application.

7.    If I don’t qualify now, may I apply later?  Yes.  You may apply at any time during the school year if your household size goes up, income goes down or if you start getting state SNAP (Food Stamps), FDPIR or other benefits.  If you lose your job, your children may be able to get free-or-reduced-price meals.

8.    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.

9.    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 all children who live with you.

10. What if my income is not always the same?  List the amount that you normally get.  For example, if you normally get $1,000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only got $900, put down that you get $1,000 per month.  If you normally get overtime, include it, but not if you get it only sometimes.

The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information on the application.  Parents do not have to give the information, but if they do not, SFPS cannot approve their child for free-or-reduced-price meals.  Provided must be the last four digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application.

The last four digits of the Social Security number are not required for applications on behalf of a foster child or if a SNAP, FDPIR or TANF case number or other FDPIR identifier is provided for a child or when the adult household member signing the application indicates he or she does not have a Social Security number.  SFPS will use the information to determine if a child is eligible for free-or-reduced-price meals and for administration and enforcement of the lunch and breakfast programs.  SFPS may share eligibility information with education, health and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund or determine benefits for their programs, with auditors for program reviews and with law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules.

NON-DISCRIMINATION: 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. 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 completed forms or letters to USDA by mail to U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW. Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax to (202) 690-7442 or by email to program.intake@usda.gov.

MEALS FOR DISABLED: 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. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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