Apply now for school lunch program

Collier County Public Schools has announced this year’s lunch price regulations.

Household size and income criteria will be used to determine eligibility. An application cannot be approved unless it contains complete eligibility information. Once approved, meal benefits are good for an entire year. You do not need to notify the organization of changes in income and household size.

You may apply on line at www.collierschools.com/nutrition. Paper application forms are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for Free or Reduced-Price Meals, households must complete the application online or fill the paper one and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at the principal’s office in each school. The information provided on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

Households that receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) are required to list on the application only the child’s name, SNAP/TANF case number, and signature of adult household member.

Foster children will receive free benefits regardless of the child’s personal income or the income of the household. If you have questions regarding meal benefits for foster children, contact Lucy Martinez at 239-377-0297.

Households with children who are considered migrants, homeless, runaway or head-start should contact the district liaisons. For homeless, contact Mrs. Cynthia Rodriguez at 239-377-0544. For migrant, contact the migrant office at 239-377-0560. For head-start, contact the head-start office at 239-377-0569.

For the purpose of determining household size, deployed service members are considered a part of the household. Families should include the names of the deployed service members on their application. Report only that portion of the deployed service member’s income made available to them or on their behalf to the family. Additionally, a housing allowance that is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative is not to be included as income.

All other households must provide the following information listed on the application:

• Total household income listed by gross amount received, type of income (e.g., wages, child support, etc.) and how often the income is received by each household member;

• Names of all household members – check the “no income” box if applicable; if household member is a child, list school name for each;

• Signature of an adult household member certifying the information provided is correct; and

• Social security number of the adult signing the application or check the “No Social Security Number” box if this household member does not have a social security number.

If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size changes, the school should be contacted. Children of parents or guardians who become unemployed should also contact the school.

Under the provisions of the Free and Reduced-Price meal policy, Lucy Martinez will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent or guardian is dissatisfied with the ruling of the official, he or she may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. If the parent wishes to make a formal appeal, he or she may make a request either orally or in writing to Sylvia Reinhart at 239-377-0292 e-mail: Reinhama@collierschools.com

Unless indicated otherwise on the application, the information on the Free and Reduced-Price Meal application may be used by the school system in determining eligibility for other educational programs.

Remember: The total income before taxes, social security, health benefits, union dues, or other deductions must be reported.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 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 if 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, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the FederalRelay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).

The Immokalee Bulletin is published every Thursday.

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