Thursday, August 27, 2009

Food and Nutrition Offers New Service for Parents

Families whose income is below the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines may qualify for free or reduced-priced meal benefits. A family MUST submit a new application at the start of each new school year. Food and Nutrition Services is excited to offer a new service to parents. This school year, parents can fill out an application online for their child(ren) for free and reduced-priced meals. The online application is a more convenient and an error-proof way for families to apply for meal benefits. It allows Food and Nutrition Services to process an application in half the time as a paper application. The online registration process does not provide families with immediate notification as to their child’s eligibility status, but will ensure that the application is completed correctly and will speed up the approval process at the District Office. Once the application is processed, a notification letter will be mailed to parents with their child's eligibility status. The online application is available on the FNS website, or by clicking here. New paper versions of the 2009-2010 Free and Reduced-price Meal Applications are available in the school cafeteria or the school’s administration office. The 2008-2009 meal eligibility status will expire on September 4, 2009. Any student who received free or reduced-price meal benefits at the end of the 2008-2009 school year must submit a new application and be approved by the expiration date. If these requirements are not met, the student will be required to pay full price for all meals until a new 2009-2010 Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application is received and approved by the Food and Nutrition Services Department. Once a completed paper application is submitted, the approval process may take five business days or half this time if an application is submitted online. “Each year we process approximately 53,000 family applications. The new online application has reduced the time it takes to process an application by at least half. By using the online application, we could save the District money from printing costs, process applications more quickly, and help the environment at the same time,” stated Nicole Westmoreland, FNS Finance Coordinator. For more information or questions, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), FNS Finance Coordinator at (813) 794-2438, (727) 774-2438, or (352) 524-2438.