FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FREE AND REDUCED PRICE MEALS or THE SPECIAL MILK PROGRAM (SMP)
Apply online at https://www.schoolcafe.com
Children need healthy meals to learn. Methacton School District offers healthy meals every school day. Breakfast costs $1.30 Elementary, $1.95 Skyview/Arcola, $2.70 High School; lunch costs $2.70 Elementary, $3.00 Skyview/Arcola, $3.20 High School. Your child(ren) may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Reduced price is $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process.
If you have received a Notice of Direct Certification for free meals, do not complete the application. But do let the school know if any children in your household are not listed on the Notice of Direct Certification letter you received.
- Who can get free or reduced price meals?
- All children in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly the Food Stamp Program) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (cash assistance) are eligible for free meals.
- Foster children under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals.
- Children participating in their school’s Head Start program are eligible for free meals.
- Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.
- Children may receive free or reduced price meals if your household’s income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Your children may qualify for free or reduced price meals if your household income falls at or below the limits on the following chart.
Income Eligibility Reduced-Price Guidelines—July 1, 2019–June 30, 2020
Twice Per Month
Every Two Weeks
For each additional family member add:
2. How do I know if my child(ren) qualify as homeless, migrant, or runaway? Do the members of your household lack a permanent address? Are you staying together in a shelter, hotel, or other temporary housing arrangement? Does your family relocate on a seasonal basis? Are any children living with you who have chosen to leave their prior family or household? If you believe children in your household meet these descriptions and have not been told your children will get free meals, please call or e-mail Jennifer Johnson, 610 489-5000 ext. 25406 or JJohnson@methacton.org.
3. Do I need to fill out an application for each child? Use one Household Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information.
4. Should I fill out an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are already approved for free meals? No, but please read the letter you received carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household were missing from your eligibility notification, contact Jennifer Johnson, 1005 Kriebel Mill Road, Eagleville, PA 19403, 610 489-5000, ext. 25406.
5. Can I apply online? Yes! You are encouraged to complete an online application instead of a paper application if you are able. The online application has the same requirements and will ask you for the same information as the paper application. Visit https://www.schoolcafe.com to begin or to learn more about the online application process. Contact Jennifer Johnson, 1005 Kriebel Mill Road, Eagleville, PA 19403, 610 489-5000, ext. 25406 if you have any questions about the online application.
6. My child’s application was approved last year. Do I need to fill out a new application? Your child’s application is only good for last school year and for the first 30 operating days of this school year, through October 15, 2019. You must complete a new application unless the school told you that your child is eligible for free or reduced price meals for the new school year. If you do not complete a new application that is approved by the school or you have not been notified that your child is eligible for free meals, your child will be charged the full price for meals.
7. I get Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Can my children get free meals? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please complete an application.
8. Will the information I give be checked? We may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report.
9. If I do not qualify now, may I apply later? Yes, you may apply at any time during the school year. For example, children with a parent or guardian who becomes unemployed may become eligible for free or reduced price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.
10. What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application? You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to: Dr. Zerbe, 1001 Kriebel Mill Road, Eagleville, PA 19403, 610 489-5000, ext. 15001
11. What if my income is not always the same? List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes. If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.
12. May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen? You, your children, or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply for free or reduced price meals.
13. What if some household members have no income to report? Household members may not receive some types of income we ask you to report on the application, or may not receive income at all. Whenever this happens, please write a 0 in the field. However, if any income fields are left empty or blank, those will also be counted as zeroes. Please be careful when leaving income fields blank, as we will assume you meant to do so.
14. We are in the military. Do we report our income differently? Your basic pay, cash bonuses, allowances for off-base housing, food, and clothing, must be reported as income. Exclude combat pay, Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance, and privatized housing allowances.
15. My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for? To find out how to apply for SNAP or other assistance benefits, visit http://www.compass.state.pa.us, contact your local county assistance office, or call the Department of Human Services at 1-800-692-7462.
If you have other questions or need help, call 610 489-5000 ext. 25406.
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 compliant 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, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Privacy Act Statement: This explains how we will use the information you give us. The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information on this application. You do not have to give the information, but if you do not, we cannot approve your child for free or reduced price meals. You must include the social security number of the adult household member who signs the application. The social security number is not required when you apply on behalf of a foster child or you list a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) case number or other FDPIR identifier for your child or when you indicate that the adult household member signing the application does not have a social security number. We will use your information to determine if your child is eligible for free or reduced price meals, and for administration and enforcement of the lunch and breakfast programs. We MAY share your eligibility information with education, health, and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund, or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews, and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules.
Non-Discrimination Statement: This explains what to do if you believe you have been treated unfairly. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 1-800-795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
- Who can get free or reduced price meals?