Free or low-cost meals available at Downey schools for eligible families

 

DOWNEY – At the beginning of July, Downey Unified announced that it is again participating in the policy to serve nutritious meals every school day under the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and Afterschool Snack Program. 

Effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals if the household income is less than or equal to the federal guidelines.  Please see chart below.

Households who receive benefits through CalFresh, CalWORKs, or FDPIR will receive a notification letter in the mail saying that all children automatically qualify for free meals and they do not need to turn in an application for approval. Children who meet the definition of foster, homeless, migrant, or runaway are eligible for free meals. 

Contact the Food Services Department if any child in the household is not on the notification letter. The household must let Food Services know if they do not want to receive free or reduced-price meals.

If your child/children participated in the free and reduced-price meal program last school year, a letter with information about the program and how to apply will be sent to the household. Households that want to apply for meal benefits must fill out one application for all children in the household and give it to the Food Services Department located at the Downey Unified School District. 

Applications are available in the main office at each Downey Unified school as well as online applications can be submitted through www.schoollunchapp.com.  For help filling out this application, please contact Monica Stebok, (562) 469-6672, or Christine Whitwam, (562) 469-6674. You will be notified by mail if your application is approved or denied for this program. 

Households may turn in an application at any time during the school year. If you are not eligible now, but your household income goes down, household size goes up, or a household member starts receiving CalFresh, CalWORKs, or FDPIR, you may turn in an application at that time. Information given on the application will be used to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school officials. 

The last four digits of the Social Security number from any adult household member or marking that you do not have a Social Security number is required if you include income on the application.

Households that receive Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals by filling out an application.

Foster children are eligible for free and reduced-price meals and may be included as a household member if the foster family chooses to also apply for the non-foster children on the same application. Including foster children as a household member may help the non-foster children qualify for free or reduced-price meals. If the non-foster children are not eligible, this does not keep foster children from receiving free meals.

Your child’s eligibility status from last school year will continue into the new school year for up to 30 school days or until the Food Services Department processes your new application or your child is otherwise certified for free or reduced-price meals. 

Temporary eligibility will expire on September 27, 2017. After the 30 school days, your child will have to pay full price for meals, unless the household receives a notification letter for free or reduced-price meals. Downey Unified’s Food Services Department is not required to send reminders or expired eligibility notices.

If you do not agree with the decision or results of verification, you may discuss it with officials from Downey Unified’s Food Services Department. One also has the right to a fair hearing, which may be requested by calling or writing the hearing official: Christine Woods, Director, Food Services, 11627 Brookshire Ave., Downey, 90241, (562) 469-6671.

Please contact Downey Unified’s Food Services Department at (562) 469-6672 for more information.