The Delaware Department of Education has released the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s policy for free and reduced-price meals for families unable to pay the full price under the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program and the Afterschool Snack Service.
Each participating school has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.
In 2023-24, schools will continue to operate the meal programs normally and will be collecting free or reduced-price eligibility applications, unless a facility elects to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision.
Benefit forms will be sent home from schools with letters to families. To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households should fill out the form and return it to the school.
The information provided will be used to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the academic year. For officials to determine eligibility, households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and/or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families must provide the child’s name, the SNAP and/or TANF case number, and a signature and name of an adult household member.
Households not receiving SNAP and/or TANF must list the names of all household members; the previous month’s gross income for each member; the income source and how often it is received; the signature of an adult household member; and the last four digits of that adult’s Social Security number (or “none” or “No Social Security Number” for those without them).
Benefit forms may be submitted or changes made at any time during the school year. Under the policy, the school’s nutrition services supervisor will review the forms and determine eligibility.
Families dissatisfied with the ruling may discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. Those wishing to make a formal appeal may do so either orally or in writing to the administrative office.
Children enrolled in Head Start or who are unhoused, migrants, runaways or in foster care are eligible for free school meals. In certain instances, children receiving aid through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children may also be eligible.