FAIRBORN — Students in grades K-8 in Fairborn City Schools will receive free breakfast and lunch during the 2022-2023 school year.
The district announced on Wednesday that Baker Middle School, Fairborn Intermediate School, and Fairborn Primary School qualified for the free meals under the USDA Community Eligibility Provision. Fairborn High School students will have to pay unless they apply for and qualify for free/reduced price meals under the UDSA school meals program as the recently passed Keep Kids Fed Act does not continue the free lunch program at schools regardless of income.
The act does expand eligibility and increase reimbursement rates. School meals were free for all students as part of the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. But the provisions were set to expire last month, leading Congress to pass the Keep Kids Fed Act.
The district also released its 2022-2023 program year policy under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program. Each school office and the central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party. The policy is summarized below.
The Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines will be used for determining eligibility. Children from families whose annual income is at or below the federal guidelines are eligible for free and reduced price meals.
Application forms are available online to be downloaded, at the board of education, and at the high school office. To apply for free and reduced-price benefits, households should fill out the application and return it to the board of education at 306 E. Whittier Ave. A complete application is required.
Households which currently receive Special Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits (SNAP, formally known as food stamps) or Ohio Works First (OWF) funds for a child must provide the child’s name, the SNAP or OWF case number, and signature of an adult household member on the application. Households which do not receive SNAP or OWF funds must provide the names of all household members, the last four digits of the Social Security number of the adult signing the application or state “none” if the adult does not have a Social Security number, the amount and source of monthly income received by each household member, and the signature of an adult household member.
If any of this information is missing, the school cannot process the application.
Families with children eligible for school meals may be eligible for free health care coverage through Medicaid and/or Ohio’s Healthy Start & Healthy Families programs. Anyone who has an Ohio Medicaid card is already receiving these services.
The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program official. Households will be notified of the approval or denial of benefits. Foster children are categorically eligible for free meal benefits regardless of the household’s income. If a family has foster children living with them and wishes to apply for such meals or milk for them, contact the school for more information.
Under the provision of the policy, Jodi Chapman Koogler, Nutrition Services secretary and approval official, will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent or guardian disagrees with the decision on the application or the result of verification, the decision may be discussed with the determining official on an informal basis. If a formal appeal is desired, the household has the right to a fair hearing.
The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure. Households may apply for benefits any time during the school year. If a household is not currently eligible and if the household size increases or income decreases because of unemployment or other reasons, the family should contact the school to file a new application. Such changes may make the children of the family eligible for free or reduced-price benefits if the family income falls at or below the levels shown above.