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    Dear Parent/Guardian:

    Children need healthy meals to learn.  Lee County Schools offers healthy meals every school day. Breakfast costs $1.50; lunch costs $2.10 in Elementary School and $2.25 in Middle & High Schools. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Reduced price students are eligible for breakfast at no charge and $0.40 for lunch. This packet includes an application for free or reduced price meal benefits, and a set of detailed instructions. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process.

    1.       Who can get free OR REDUCED PRICE meals?

    ·         All children in households receiving benefits from NC SNAP, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) or NC TANF, are eligible for free meals.

    ·         Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court 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 Guidelines.


    2.      HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILDREN 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 haven’t been told your children will get free meals, please call, the Lee County Schools Homeless Liaison or Migrant Coordinator at 919-774-6226.

    3.        Do I need to fill out an application for each child?  No. Use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information. Return the completed application to: Lee County Schools Child Nutrition, PO Box 1010/106 Gordon Street, Sanford, NC  27330, 919-774-6226 or your child's school.

    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 got carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household were missing from your eligibility notification, contact  Lee County Schools Child Nutrition, PO Box 1010/106 Gordon Street, Sanford, NC  27330, 919-774-6226, or e-mail: vmatthews@lee.k12.nc.us immediately.

    5.       MY CHILD’S APPLICATION WAS APPROVED LAST YEAR.  DO I NEED TO FILL OUT A NEW ONE?  Yes.  Your child’s application is only good for that school year and for the first 30 days of 16-17 school year or until your new application is processed.  You must send in a new application unless you received notification from the Lee County Schools Child Nutrition Office that your child is eligible for the new school year.  If you do not send in a new application that is approved by Lee County Schools Child Nutrition or you have not been notified that your child is eligible for free meals , your child will be charged the full price for meals.  

    6.       I GET WIC.  CAN MY CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS?  Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals.  Please send in an application.

    7.       Will the information I give be checked? Yes. We may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report.

    8.               If I don’t 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 and reduced price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.

    9.               What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application? You should talk to someone in Child Nutrition Services at Central Office, 919-774-6226.

    10.         May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen? Yes. You, your children, or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply for free or reduced price meals. 

    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.         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.

    If you have other questions or need help, call Child Nutrition Services @ 919-774-6226.