Here’s how to get your Nederland ISD student qualified for free or reduced lunches
Published 12:20 am Sunday, July 17, 2022
NEDERLAND — During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress authorized spending that allowed schools to serve free meals for all students. Those funds are not authorized to continue for the 2022- 23 school year.
As a result, Nederland ISD is returning to charging for school meals and offering free and reduced-price meals based on student eligibility.
Starting July 1, Nederland ISD began distributing letters and applications to the households of the children in the district about eligibility benefits. Families are encouraged to complete the Application for Free and Reduced-Price School Meals, also available at https://www.schoolcafe.com/, and return the completed form online or to any school office.
The application will determine a child’s eligibility for free and reduced-price meals and may assist in the determination of eligibility for other state or federal benefits. Only one application needs to be completed per household.
Schools will notify the household of the child’s eligibility. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) administers school nutrition programs in Texas and offers an eligibility calculator at www.SquareMeals.org/ProgramEligibility.
Decisions regarding payment for school meals are made at the national-government level, not by the school nutrition team or TDA. The staff at Nederland ISD is looking forward to serving healthy, balanced meals to students in the new school year.
These meals, whether paid, free, or reduced-price, offer a good source of nutrition for children.
Criteria for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits
The following criteria will be used to determine a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meal benefits:
- Household income that is at or below the income eligibility levels
Categorical or Automatic Eligibility
- Household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); or Food Distribution
Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) Program Participant Eligibility
- Child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant, or displaced by a declared disaster
Income Eligibility For those households that qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on income, an adult in the household must fill out free and reduced-price meal application and return it to the school or the Child Nutrition Department located at 220 N 17th Street, Nederland.
Those individuals filling out the application will need to provide the following information:
- Names of all household members
- Amount, frequency, and source of current income for each household member
- Last 4 digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application or, if the adult does not have a social security number, check the box for “No Social Security number”
- Signature of an adult household member attesting that the information provided is correct
Categorical or Program Participant Eligibility
Nederland ISD is working with local agencies to identify all children who are categorically and program eligible. Nederland ISD will notify the households of these children that they do not need to complete an application. Any household that does not receive a letter and feels it should can contact Carleen Mattingly, Child Nutrition Secretary, at 409-724-2391 ext. 1226.
Any household that wishes to decline benefits should contact Carleen Mattingly, Child Nutrition Secretary, at 409-724-2391 ext. 1226.
Applications may be submitted anytime during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility. Applications may also be verified by the school officials at any time during the school year.
Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, Carleen Mattingly, Child Nutrition Reviewing Official will review applications and determine eligibility. Households or guardians dissatisfied with the Reviewing Official’s eligibility determination may wish to discuss the decision with the Reviewing Official on an informal basis. Households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either orally or in writing to Dr. Stuart Kieschnick, NISD Superintendent, 220 N 17th Street, Nederland, TX 77627, or 409-724-2391.
If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the Child Nutrition Office. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below the attached current income eligibility guidelines.