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Webster school board announces free lunch policy

by Minden Press-Herald

The Webster Parish School Board has announced its policy for free and reduced price meals served under the National School Lunch and/or School Breakfast Program(s).

All schools and the central office have a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

Application forms are being sent to all homes, along with a letter to households. To apply for free or reduced priced meals, households should fill out one application for the household and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at each school. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year. The information provided by the household is confidential; it will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility. Information may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials.

All children in households with any household member receiving benefits under assistance programs: SNAP, FITAP or food distribution programs on Indian Reservations are eligible for free meals.

For school officials to determine eligibility, each household that is now receiving benefits from assistance programs must provide the case number of a household member as well as the signature of an adult household member.

All other households must provide the following information on the application: names of all household members, the amount of income (before deductions for taxes, Social Security, etc.) each household member receives, how often the person receives the income, where it is from, such as wages, retirement or welfare, the signature of an adult household member certifying that the information provided is correct and the last four digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signed the application or a statement that the household member does not possess one.

Children categorized as foster, homeless, runaway, migrant or enrolled in state-funded Head Start or Even Start programs, if known, are automatically eligible for free meals. School officials will determine eligibility for free meals based on documentation obtained directly from the program office and notify the household of their eligibility benefits. The household must notify the school if it chooses to decline benefits. The household should complete an application if they are not notified of free meal eligibility by August 20.

If any household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for meal benefits.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced price policy, Sylvia Dupree, child nutrition program supervisor will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent or guardian is dissatisfied with the ruling of the official, he may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. If the parent wishes to make a formal appeal, he may make either an oral or written response to Dr. Dan Rawls, superintendent, P.O. Box 520, 1442 Sheppard St., Minden, LA 71058-0520, phone 318-377-7052.

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