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Assistance: Help is available

August 9, 2012
Times Leader

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 programs are available for the 2012-2013 school year.

Each school office and the central office of each district will have a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party. The Federal Income Guidelines will be used for determining eligibility. Children from families whose 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 being distributed to all homes in a letter to parents and/or guardians. To apply for benefits, households should fill out the application and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at the principal's office in each school. A complete application is required.

Households which currently receive Special Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or Ohio Works First (OWF) funds 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 or 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 schools will not be able to process the application.

Health Care

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. Please call (800) 324-8680 for more information or to request an application. Information may also be found on the web at Anyone who has a Ohio Medicaid card is already receiving these services.

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 parent or guardian disagrees with the decision on the application and a formal appeal is desired, the household has a right to a fair hearing. A fair hearing can be requested either orally or in writing form by contacting the child's school principal.



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