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Free and reduced meal policy outlined

BELLAIRE — St. John Central Academy has announced its 2019-20 program year policy for Free and Reduced Meals for students unable to pay the full price of meals or milk served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast, After School Care Snack or Special Milk Programs. Each school office and the central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

The Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines will be used to determine eligibility. Children from families whose annual income is at or below the federal guidelines are eligible for free and reduced price meals or free milk if the school participates in the Special Milk Program.

Application forms are distributed to all homes in a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for the free and reduced-price benefits, households should complete an application and return it to the school. Additional copies are available in the principal’s office in the school. A complete application is required. Households which currently receive Special Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) or Ohio Works First 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 that 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 income received by each household member, (state the monthly income) 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 and Healthy Families Programs. These programs include coverage for doctor visits, immunizations, physicals, prescriptions, dental, vision, mental health, substance abuse, and more. Call 800-324-8680 for more information or to request an application. Information can also be found on the web at http://jfs.ohio.gov/ohp/consumers/familychild.stm. 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 to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program official. To discourage the possibility of misrepresentation, the application forms contain a statement above the space for signature certifying that all information furnished is true and correct. Applications are being made in connection with receipt of federal funds. Schools or other officials may check the information on the application at anytime during the school year. Deliberate misrepresentation of information may subject the applicant to prosecution under applicable state and federal laws.

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, Lyndsay McMahon will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent or guardian disagrees with the decision on the application or the result of the 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. A fair hearing can be requested either orally or in writing from: Selina Brooks (principal), 3625 Guernsey St., P.O. Box 252, Bellaire, OH 43906. For information, call 740-676-4932

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