Press Releases - OSPI
LanguagesA-Z IndexPrinter Friendly Image
Search
 


For media inquiries, please contact: 

Communications
360.725.6015

 

   Twitter   Facebook    Email me Email

 

Eligible Families Encouraged to Apply for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Programs

OLYMPIA — September 2, 2015 — Washington public schools play a vital role in children’s health by providing free and reduced-price meals to students in need. The following U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition programs are administered by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI): National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and Special Milk Program.

The application process for participation in school meal programs is simple and confidential. Application packets are sent to all households with students at the beginning of the school year. Households with income levels below certain thresholds (see the tables below) are encouraged to apply for any or all of the programs listed above. The application packet provides instructions and directions on where the application should be sent. Applications will be reviewed and a determination made within 10 working days of receipt of the application. Households denied eligibility can appeal the decision by contacting their school.

Applications can be submitted any time during the school year. Households that experience a change in income due to job loss or other circumstances are encouraged to apply.

Students receiving help through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Basic Food Program– as well as all other students in the same household – automatically qualify for free meals. The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) provides OSPI with a list of children who receive these services to facilitate automatic eligibility. Households notified of their children’s eligibility must contact the school if it chooses to decline the free meal benefits.

Foster children are eligible for free meal benefits. Children placed in foster care by DSHS are also included in the list provided to OSPI. In households where foster children reside, all other students in the household may be eligible for free or reduced price meals based on household size and income. In these situations, households may submit an application.

Homeless and migrant students, households taking part in Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations and students in Head Start and Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program are eligible for free meals. Contact your child’s school for more information.

Eligibility lasts from the date of approval up to the first 30 operating days of the next school year or until a family contacts the school or district.

The income eligibility guidelines listed below are used to determine the eligibility of children to receive free or reduced-price meals or free milk. Washington State legislation, pays the cost of lunch for public school students eligible for reduced-price meals in grades K‒3 and the cost of breakfast for public school students eligible for reduced-price meals in grades K-12.

USDA Child Nutrition Program Income Guidelines
July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016

FREE MEALS

Household Size

Annual

Monthly

Twice per month

Every Two Weeks

Weekly

1

$15,301

$1,276

$638

$589

$295

2

20,709

1,726

863

797

399

3

26,117

2,177

1,089

1005

503

4

31,525

2,628

1,314

1,213

607

5

36,933

3,078

1,539

1,421

711

6

42,341

3,529

1,765

1,629

815

7

47,749

3,980

1,990

1,837

919

8

53,157

4,430

2,215

2,045

1,023

For each add’l household member, add

+5,408

+451

+226

+208

+104

 

REDUCED-PRICE MEAL

Household Size

Annual

Monthly

Twice per month

Every Two Weeks

Weekly

1

$21,775

$1,815

$908

$838

$419

2

29,471

2,456

1,228

1,134

567

3

37,167

3,098

1,549

1,430

715

4

44,863

3,739

1,870

1,726

863

5

52,559

4,380

2,190

2,022

1,011

6

60,255

5,022

2,511

2,318

1,159

7

67,951

5,663

2,832

2,614

1,307

8

75,647

6,304

3,152

2,910

1,455

For each add’l household member, add

+7,696

+642

+321

+296

+148

If you have questions about eligibility, contact your child’s school.

Schools with fewer than 25 percent of the enrolled K-4 students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals are not required to operate the National School Lunch Program. In addition, schools with fewer than 40 percent or less of enrolled students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals are not required to operate the school breakfast program.

For more information

The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call 866-632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax 202-690-7442, or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

 

About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

FOLLOW:
Twitter | Facebook | Flickr

CONTACT:
Kristen Jaudon
Communications Specialist
(360) 725-6032 | Kristen.Jaudon@k12.wa.us

Nathan Olson
Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015 | nathan.olson@k12.wa.us

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015

 

   Updated 9/2/2015

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  360-725-6000  TTY 360-664-3631
Contact Us    |    A-Z Index    |    Site Info    |    Staff Only    |    Education Data System (EDS)