Free and Reduced Questions
1. Do I need to fill out an application for each child? No. Complete one application to apply for free or reduced-price meals. 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: Child Nutrition Dept., 3120 Carson St., Haltom City, Texas, 76117 or to your child’s school office.
2. Who can get free meals? Children in households getting Food Stamps or TANF can get free meals regardless of your income. Your benefit letter from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is your documentation for free meals. If you have not already received a letter from your school stating that your household is eligible for free meals you may take your HHSC benefit letter to your child nutrition office to be certified for free meals. Your children can get free meals if your household income is within the free limits on the Federal Income Guidelines and you must complete this application and submit to your child nutrition office. Head Start students and most foster children can also qualify for free meals. Call the school if you have questions.
3. Should I fill out an application if I got a letter this school year saying my children are approved for free or reduced-price meals? In most cases no, however read the letter you got carefully and follow the instructions. Call the Child Nutrition Dept. at 817-547-5860 if you have questions.
4. Can homeless, runaway and migrant children get free meals? Yes. If you have not been notified of free status under these categories, please call the child’s school to see if your child(ren) qualify.
5. Who can get reduced price meals? Your children can get low cost meals if your household income is within the reduced-price limits on the Federal Income Chart, included in this application packet.
6. I get WIC. Can my child(ren) get free meals? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Please fill out an application.
7. Will the information I give be checked? Yes, we may ask you to send written proof.
8. If I don’t qualify now, may I apply later? Yes. You may apply at any time during the school year if your household size goes up, income goes down, or if you start getting Food Stamps, TANF or other benefits.
9. What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application? You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to: The Director of Child Nutrition, 3120 Carson St., Haltom City, TX 76117.
10. May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen? Yes. You or your child(ren) do not have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
11. Who should I include as members of my household? You must include yourself and all people living in your household, related or not (such as children, grandparents, other relatives or friends).
12. What if my income is not always the same? List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally get $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only got $900, put down that you get $1000 per month. If you normally get overtime pay, include that amount as income. If you do not normally get overtime pay, do not include it as income.
13. We are in the military; do we include our housing allowance as income? If your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income. All other allowances must be included in your gross income.
Why do faculty and staff pay more for meals than students do?
The district receives federal reimbursement for meals served to students only. The value of this reimbursement plus any donated commodities must not be used to subsidize adult meals; as a result the adult meals are priced higher.
My child was charged more at breakfast for only taking one item today, what does the student breakfast meal price include?
To receive the stated breakfast meal price, the student needs to have chosen at least two different items from the items offered. Milk can be counted as 1 item. If a total of 2 items are not on the tray, the student will be charged ala carte prices which could cost more than the stated meal price. Milk, white or chocolate, is considered as a side choice. The student may choose to take the entrée and all meal components offered that day for the same price.
How can I limit what my child can purchase from his/her account?
Parents may choose to deposit some or all prepaid money into their student's Meal Account. Funds deposited into the Meal Accounts may only be used to purchase 1 meal per serving period per day. No extras may be purchased with these funds.
What happens to money left in my child's account at the end of the school year?
Any money left in the child's account at the end of the school year will be available on the first day of school the following year. The funds will also advance to another school in the district as your child progresses through Birdville ISD.