The SMMUSD on Monday released income eligibility guidelines for free and reduced-price meals for students.

Parents can now apply for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program.

Children who receive Food Stamp (FS), California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payments (Kin-GAP), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits are automatically eligible for free meals regardless of the income of the household in which they reside. Eligibility for a foster child is based on a separate application and solely on the amount of the child’s “personal use” income.

The current income guidelines are:

• For a family of one child: $14,079 a year for free meals and a salary of $20,036 a year for reduced-price meals. For each additional family member add $4,862 for free meals and $6,919 for reduced.

Application forms are being distributed to all households with a letter informing them of the availability of free and reduced-price meals for enrolled children. Applications are also available at the principal’s office in each school, district officials said.

To apply for free or reduced-price meal benefits, households must complete an application and return it to the school for processing. Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used to determine meal eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or program officials.

Requirements for school officials to determine eligibility for free and reduced-price benefits are as follows: For households receiving Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR benefits — applications need only include the enrolled child(ren)’s name, Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR case number, and the signature of an adult household member. For households who do not list a Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR case number, the application must include the names of all household members, the amount and source of the income received by each household member, and the signature and corresponding Social Security number of an adult household member. If the household member who signs the application does not have a Social Security number, the household member must indicate on the application that a Social Security number is not available.

Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the eligibility ruling may discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. Parents may also make a formal request for an appeal hearing of the decision and may do so orally or in writing with the sponsor/agency’s hearing official. Parents or guardians should contact their child(ren)’s school(s) for specific information regarding the name of the determining official and/or hearing official for a specific school, agency, or district.

If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits.

DAILY PRESS