School meal assistance detailed

Special to the Altus Times

Altus Public Schools today announced its policy for free or reduced-price meals for children served under the National School Lunch Program or NSLP, the School Breakfast Program or SBP, and the After-School Snack Program.

Local school officials have adopted a household size and income criteria for determining eligibility.

Children from households whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Application forms are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced-price meals households should fill out the application and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at the principal’s office in each school.

The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

For SFA officials to determine eligibility, households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations or FDPIR benefits must list the children’s names, a SNAP, TANF, or FDPIR case number, and the signature of an adult household member.

All children in households with any household member receiving benefits under assistance programs are eligible for free meals.

Children in other source categorically eligible (i.e., children categorized as homeless, mighrant, runaway, Head Start, Even Start , and foster children, if known) are also eligible for free meals.

If a SNAP, TANF or FDPIR case number is not provided, then the application must have the children’s names, total household members, the amount of income each member received last month, the signature of an adult household member, and the last four digits of the adult’s social security number or mark the box if he or she does not have one.

Foster children also categorically qualify for free meals and milk, regardless of the child’s income. If there are foster children living in the household, to apply for such meals or milk for them, complete the application as instructed.

Under the provisions of the policy, Sabina C. Garrett, child nutrition director, will review application and determine eligibility.

Parents or guardians wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request either orally or in writing to Mr. Roe Worbes, school food authority and assistant superintendent at 219 N. Lee St., Altus, OK 73521-0558.

Direct certification: Any member of a household currently certified to receive SNAP, TANF, or FDPIR benefits will be notified of the enrolled children’s eligibility and that the enrolled children will be provided free benefits unless the household notifies the SFA that it chooses to decline benefits. If SNAP, TANF, and FDPIR households are not notified by Sept. 23, 2015 of eligibility, an application will need to be submitted.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and United States Department of Agriculture civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, office, employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language) should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027) found online at and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form.

To request a copy of the complaint form, call 866-632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

* Mail: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410,

* Fax: 202-690-7442

* E-Mail:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Special to the Altus Times

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