Free and reduced-price meal policy announced for 2022-23 school year in Del.

DELAWARE – The Delaware Department of Education has announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s policy for free and reduced-price meals for children unable to pay the full price for meals served under the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and After School Snack Program.

For the 2022-2023 school year, schools will be returning to normal NSLP, SBP, and ASSP operations and will collect free or reduced-price meal eligibility applications unless the school elects to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision.

Meal Benefit Forms will be sent home with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced-price meals, parents/guardians should fill out the form for their household and return it to the school. The information provided on the form will be used to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year for program officials. Information on the form may not be used for any other purpose unless the parent/guardian grants consent.

In order for program officials to determine eligibility, households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and/or Delaware Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (DE-TANF) must list the child’s name, their SNAP and/or DE-TANF case number, and provide a signature and name of an adult household member. Households not receiving these benefits must list names of all household members, the amount of the gross income for each household member received last month, the income source and how often received, the signature of an adult household member and that adult’s last four digits of a social security number. If the adult does not have a social security number, the word “none” or “No Social Security Number” box must be checked.

Under the provisions of the policy, the school nutrition services supervisor will review the forms and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians not satisfied with the ruling may discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. Parents or guardians wishing to make a formal appeal may request to do so either orally or in writing to the administrative office for a hearing on the decision.

Children enrolled in Head Start, or who are homeless, migrant, runaway, or in foster care are eligible for free school meal benefits. In certain instances, children receiving WIC may also be eligible. Parents/guardians wishing to apply should follow the instructions on the MBF or contact their school.

Households may report changes or reapply for meal benefits at any time during the school year.

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