Wednesday, August 7, 2013

District accepting requests for free lunch

About 40 percent of students qualify for lunch discounts

Express Staff Writer

    The Blaine County School District announced Monday that it is now accepting applications for free or reduced-price lunches and breakfasts.
    Funding for the program comes from the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. Both federal programs are designed to ensure that students get healthy meals.
    The district anticipates that about 40 percent of the district’s some 3,400 students qualify for free or discounted lunches. Qualifications are based upon family income and household size.
    The district announced in a news release that application forms have been sent along with a letter explaining the program to all student parents or guardians. Included with the information is a grid that shows household income levels and the number of household members for qualification of either the free or reduced-price programs.
    For example, a household with an annual income of $51,519 and eight household members qualifies for the free lunch program. A household with an annual income of $73,316 and eight household members qualifies for discounted lunches.
    A complete application, verifying incomes and listing all household members, is required for qualification. However, the press release states that households with any member who is receiving Food Stamps or Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho, referred to as TAFI, are only required to provide the recipient’s name, a case number and students’ names.
    The news release states that students who are homeless, runaways or migrant are also eligible for benefits. Household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to qualify for free or reduce price lunches.
    Applications may be submitted any time during the school year.

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