Palo Verde High School’s (PVHS) free and reduced-price meal program eligibility and guidelines for the 2019-2020 school year have been released by Palo Verde Unified School District (PVUSD).

“The household size and income criteria identified [see chart] will be used to determine eligibility for free, reduced-price, or full-price meal benefits. Children from households whose income is at or below the levels shown here are eligible for free or reduced-price meals,” stated PVUSD’s forwarded California Department of Education (Nutrition Services Division) release. “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.”

As noted by the California Department of Education, application forms were distributed to all households with a letter informing each of the free and reduced-price meals program availability for kids enrolled.

“Applications are also available at the principal’s office in each school. 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,” noted the California Department of Education. “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 last four digits of the 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.”

As previously reported, PVUSD announced the following four schools will serve students free lunch and breakfast this year: Felix J. Appleby Elementary School; Margaret White Elementary School; Ruth Brown Elementary School; and Twin Palms High School.

Applications at PVHS are to be reviewed and determined at the PVUSD Nutrition Services Department.

“Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, the determining official(s), as designated by the sponsor/agency, shall review applications and determine eligibility. 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,” states the California Department of Education. “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 levels shown above.”

The listings follow this summer’s federally funded and state-administered cooperative agreement program, which saw PVUSD provide free lunch and breakfast to local kids at designated school sites, four days a week, from June 17 through July 31.

During that timeframe, PVUSD provided 1,798 lunches and 572 breakfast meals to kids; in 2018, 2,176 lunches and 908 breakfasts were provided under the same 30-day free summer meals program.

For any further inquiries and/or additional information, the PVUSD Nutrition Services Department may be contacted at (760) 922-4184 (Ext. 1222); or drop-by the PVUSD Administration Building at 295 N. First St.

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