Mesa County Valley School District 51 eligibility guidelines for free and reduced meals announced | PostIndependent.com
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Mesa County Valley School District 51 eligibility guidelines for free and reduced meals announced

School District 51’s Nutrition Services department announced today Federal eligibility guidelines for families who may receive free and reduced-price meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. District 51 officials will use the following household size and income criteria for determining eligibility:

FREE MEALS

Annual Income



1, $15,301

2, $20,709



3, $26,117

4, $31,525

5, $36,933

6, $42,341

7, $47,749

8, $53,157

For each additional family member add: $5,408.

REDUCED-PRICE MEALS

Annual Income

1, $21,775

2, $29,471

3, $37,167

4, $44,863

5, $52,559

6, $60,255

7, $67,951

8, $75,647

For each additional family member add $7,696.

Reduced-price meals save approximately 85 percent of a regular meal cost. Reduced-price lunches are $0.40 in grades 6-12. For grades K-5, those qualifying for reduced-priced meals receive the meals for free. A regular price lunch for K-5 is $2.60, grades 6-8 is $2.75, and grades 9-12 is $3.

Children from families whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. To ensure accuracy and faster processing, parents are encouraged to apply online now at http://www.ApplyForLunch.com.

Application forms are also available to all households at each school location and at the Nutrition Services Office located at 2280 E. Main St. Grand Junction. Only one application is required for all children in a household. The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining eligibility and verifying data.

Parents should complete the application process before school starts, but can apply at any time.

Applications from families receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly the Food Stamp Program) or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits need only to list their children’s names, name of the person receiving the program benefits, respective case number, and the signature of an adult household member. When the application lists a case number for any household member, all children in the household are eligible for free meals.

All other households that would qualify based upon income must show the names of all household members related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends), the amount of gross income each person receives, the frequency and source of pay, the signature of an adult household member, and the last four digits of that adult’s social security number — or check the box if the adult does not have a social security number. The information on the application may be verified by the school or other program officials at any time during the school year.

Households with children who are eligible under the homeless, migrant, or runaway programs should contact the school for assistance in receiving benefits. To complete an application, they must mark the relevant box to indicate their appropriate eligibility. Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals. Any foster child in the household is eligible for free meals regardless of income. If a family only has foster children in the home and wishes to apply for meals, then they should complete the application using the instructions for households with foster children only. If a family has foster and non-foster children living with them and wishes to apply for meals, they should complete the application using the instructions for households that have foster and non-foster children residing in the home. Including foster children as household members may help other children in the household qualify for meal benefits.

An application cannot be approved unless it contains complete eligibility information as indicated on the application and instructions.

Upon notification to District 51, households receiving assistance from SNAP or FDPIR will be notified of their children’s eligibility for free meals. If the household receives such a notice, then no application is required for free meal benefits. If any children in the household were not listed on the eligibility notice or not listed on the application, then the household should contact the District to have benefits extended to those students.

Upon notification to District 51, if an individual child is categorized as homeless, migrant, or runaway, or is enrolled in an eligible Head Start program, then households will be notified of the child’s eligibility for free meals. For any child not listed on the eligibility notice, the household should contact the district or should submit an application for other students.

Households notified of their children’s eligibility must contact the district if they choose to decline meal benefits.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) participants may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Please contact your school.

Under the provision of the District Policy, the Nutrition Services Free & Reduced Eligibility Official will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent is dissatisfied with the decision, then a request may be made to discuss it with the determining official. A formal appeal may be made either orally or in writing to the Director of Nutrition Services for a hearing to appeal the decision. The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure. The Nutrition Services Office located at 2280 E. Main St. Grand Junction has a copy of the complete policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

Applications may be submitted any time during the school year. If you are not eligible now but have a decrease in income, become unemployed, have an increase in family size, or become eligible for SNAP or FDPIR benefits or become categorically eligible, you may fill out an application at that time.


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