Mason County News
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School Lunch Applications Being Mailed
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 • Posted August 11, 2010

All families are encouraged to complete the application for free or reduced price school meals. Parents may come in at any time the week of August 9-13 and August 16-21 between the hours of 9am - 2 pm. Students who meet the guidelines are eligible for free or reduced price meals may be eligible for other programs for the 2010-11 school year.

Only one application should be completed per family. The application will be distributed to all students with their school packets. Letters will be mailed to all households who are denied. Students qualifying for free or reduced meals will be notified by mail also. Students who received free or reduced meals in 2009-10 will be qualified for the first 30 calendar days of the new school year. After the initial 30 days a new application must be on file at the school. Once your child is approved for 2010-11 school year they are approved for all year.

Students are asked to make payments for their meals at the cafeteria or PK through 3rd grade can turn their payments into their teachers who will send it to the cafeteria. It is asked of the parents of students to make a special effort to keep up with meal tickets as there will be a limit of 3 days charged only. The meal pricing for Mason Schools this year will be as follows:

Prices for the 2010-11 school year will be:

Pre-Kindergarten through 3rd grade

Lunch---$2.00

4th through 12th grade

Lunch $2.25

Reduced Price Lunch for all grades---$.40

Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade

Breakfast---$1.00

Reduced Price Breakfast for all grades---$.30

Families and students new to the district may complete an application prior to the first day for approval. These applications are available at each campus and at the cafeteria.

Households receiving food stamps or TANF need only to complete the following:

• Student's name(s)

• TANF or Food Stamp case number

• Signature by an adult household member

The Lone Star care number is not an acceptable number. For assistance please call Betty Simon at 325-347-1122 ext 248.

Information provided on the application remains confidential and is used to determine eligibility and verification of data. Children who are approved are treated the same as other children and no child is discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

Children are eligible for free or reduced price meals if the household income is at or below the level shown on the 2010-11 Income Eligibility Guidelines. Parents will be notified when the application is approved and /or denied in writing.

Parents may come in at any time prior to the first day of school to fill out an application. If you have any questions concerning the application decisions please call Betty J. Simon, Food Service Supervisor, at 325-347-1122 ext 248.

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Children need healthy meals to learn. Mason ISD offers healthy meals every school day. Breakfast costs $1.00; lunch costs PK-3 $2.00 and 4-12 $2.25. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced-priced meals. Reduced price is $.30 for breakfast and $.40 for lunch.

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: Betty J. Simon, 911 W. College St., Mason, Texas 76856, 325-347-1122 ext 248.

2. Who can get free meals? Children in households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly the Food Stamp Program) 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. If a member of your household is directly certified due to receiving SNAP or TANF benefits, all members of your household are eligible for free meals. If a child in your household is not included on the Letter of Direct Certification, sent to you by the SFA, or if you have questions, call the school at 325-347-1122 ext. 248.

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 school at 3285-347-1122 ext 248 if you have questions or a member of your household is not listed on the letter. If your household does not receive SNAP or TANF, your children may still be eligible to receive free meals if your household income is less than the amounts listed on the federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Please complete the application and submit it to your child nutrition office. Head Start students and Even Start children and most foster children may also qualify for free meals.

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 Jane Vargas, 325-347-1122 ext 240 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.

6. I get WIC. Can my child(ren) get free meals? Children in households participation 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 SNAP, TANF or other benefits (such as unemployment 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: Elementary Principal, 325-347-1122 ext 233, Jr. High Principal, 325-347-1122 ext 241 or High School Principal at 325-347-5908 ext 223.

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-priced 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 is 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.

If you have other questions or need help, call 325-347-1122 ext 248. Si necesita ayuda, por favor llame al teléfono: 325-347-1122 ext 248. Si vous voudriez d'aide, contactez nous au numero: 325-347-1122 ext 248.

Sincerely,

Betty J. Simon

Foods Service Supervisor

Mason ISD

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