~ Submitted by Ken Whittier, Food Service Director for the Bedford Public Schools
Bedford Public Schools will be participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or the School Breakfast Program under the Seamless Summer Option. As part of this program, Bedford High School, John Glenn Middle School, Davis Elementary School, and Lane Elementary School will offer healthy meals every school day. Meals for the School year 2021-2022 will be no charge.
Even though meals are free, school districts are still required to provide Free and Reduced Meal Applications for the School year 2021-22. Approved applications may allow families to apply for SNAP benefits and/or P-EBT card benefits.
If you are not receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and have been approved for free school meals, you may be eligible for SNAP which provides monthly financial assistance to purchase groceries to Massachusetts residents who qualify. Find out if you are eligible for SNAP today by calling Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 and a counselor can help you apply over the phone. You can also apply on your own online at DTA Connect: https://dtaconnect.eohhs.mass.gov/apply
Qualifications for children to receive free or reduced-price meals include: belonging to a household whose income is at or below the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines, belonging to a household that receives public assistance, or if the child is homeless, migrant, runaway, foster, or participates in a Head Start or Even Start pre-K program.
Household size and income criteria are used to determine eligibility for free and reduced-price benefits if the household does not receive assistance or the children are not in the other categories mentioned above. Children can get free or reduced-price meals if the household’s gross income falls at or below the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guideline chart.
To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households can fill out the application and return it to the school unless the household has already received notification that their children are approved for free meals this year. Application forms are being distributed to all households with a letter informing households of the availability of free and reduced-price meals for their children and what is required to complete on the application. Applications also are available on the School Lunch Program website, http://bedfordpsmanutrition.org/, at each school office, or by mail, contact Bedford School Lunch Program at 781-275-9129 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application.
Only one application is required for all children in the household and the information provided on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and verification of data. Applications may be verified at any time during the school year by the school or other program officials. An application for free or reduced-price benefits cannot be approved unless it contains complete eligibility information as indicated on the application and instructions. In the operation of child feeding programs, no child will be discriminated against because of race, sex, color, national origin, age, or disability.
Families can apply for benefits at any time. 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 if the household’s income falls at or below the Federal Guidelines. Contact Ken Whittier at email@example.com or call 781-275–9129 at any time to request an application.
Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price policy, Assistant to the Food Service Director will review applications and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either orally or in writing to Julie Kirrane Bedford Public Schools 97 McMahon Rd Bedford, MA 01730, 781-275-9129.
When known to Bedford School Lunch Program, households will be notified of their children’s eligibility for free meals if they are members of households receiving assistance from the:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR); or
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), if the State program meets Federal standards.
An application is not required for free meal benefits for Assistance Program participants and all of the children in the household are eligible for free meal benefits. If any children were not listed on the notice of eligibility, or if a household does not receive a notice of eligibility, the household should contact the school to have free meal benefits extended to them. Participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals, but they will need to turn in an application including household size and total income.
When known to Bedford School Lunch Program households will also be notified of any child’s eligibility for free meals if the individual child is considered “Other Source Categorically Eligible”, because the child is categorized, as defined by law as:
- Enrolled in an eligible Head Start, or
- Enrolled in an eligible pre-kindergarten class.
If any children were not listed on the notice of eligibility, the household should contact the school about their eligibility through the list above, or should submit an income application.
Households notified of their children’s eligibility must contact the school if the household chooses to decline the benefits.
For more information, you may call Ken Whittier at 781-275-9129 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: https://www.usda.gov/oascr/how-to-file-a-program-discrimination-complaint , and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
fax: (202) 690-7442; or email: email@example.com.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.