FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FREE AND REDUCED-PRICE SCHOOL MEALS
Children need healthy meals to learn. The Copley-Fairlawn City School District offers healthy meals each school day. Breakfast cost $2.00 at all schools. Lunch costs $3.25 for Kdg-4th grade students and $3.50 for 5th-12th grade students. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced-price meals. For the 2023-2024 school year, those who apply and qualify for reduced-price meals will receive free meals. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process.
- WHO CAN GET FREE OR REDUCED-PRICE MEALS?
- All children in households receiving benefits from the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) or Ohio Works First (OWF) are eligible for free meals.
- Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals.
- Children participating in their school’s Head Start program are eligible for free meals.
- Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.
- Children may receive free or reduced-price meals if your household’s income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Your children may qualify for free or reduced-price meals if your household income falls at or below the limits on this chart.
FEDERAL ELIGIBILITY INCOME CHART For School Year 2023-2024
Each additional person:
- HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILDREN QUALIFY AS HOMELESS, MIGRANT, OR RUNAWAY? Do the members of your household lack a permanent address? Are you staying together in a shelter, hotel, or other temporary housing arrangement? Does your family relocate on a seasonal basis? Are any children living with you who have chosen to leave their prior family or household? If you believe children in your household meet these descriptions and haven’t been told your children will get free meals, please call or e-mail Aimee Kirsch at 330-664-4855 or aimee.kirsch@copley- fairlawn.org.
- DO I NEED TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION FOR EACH CHILD? No. 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. Please apply online if possible. If an online application is not possible, a paper application can be picked up at the Board of Education office or in any school office. Please return the completed paper applications to: Steve Robinson, 3797 Ridgewood Road, Copley, Ohio 44321.
- SHOULD I FILL OUT AN APPLICATION IF I RECEIVED A LETTER THIS SCHOOL YEAR SAYING MY CHILDREN ARE ALREADY APPROVED FOR FREE MEALS? No, but please read the letter you got carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household were missing from your eligibility notification, please call or email Steve Robinson at 330-664-4800 or firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
- CAN I APPLY ONLINE? Yes. You are encouraged to complete an online application instead of a paper application if possible. The online application requirements are the same and will request the same information as the paper application. Visit copley-fairlawn.payschools.com to begin or to learn more about the online application process. Contact Steve Robinson at email@example.com, or 330-664-4800 with any questions about the online application.
- MY CHILD’S APPLICATION WAS APPROVED LAST YEAR. DO I NEED TO FILL OUT A NEW ONE? Yes. Your child’s application is only good for last school year and for the first few days of this school year, through October 4, 2023. You must send in a new application unless the school told you that your child is eligible for the new school year. If you do not complete a new application that is approved by the school or you have not been notified that your child is eligible for free meals, your child will be charged the full price for meals.
- I GET WIC. CAN MY CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Please complete an application.
- WILL THE INFORMATION I GIVE BE CHECKED? Yes. We may also ask you to send written proof.
- IF I DON’T QUALIFY NOW, MAY I APPLY LATER? Yes, you may apply at any time during the school year. For example, children with a parent or guardian who becomes unemployed may become eligible for free and reduced-price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.
- 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: Steve Robinson, 3797 Ridgewood Road, Copley, Ohio 44321 or 330-664-4800 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
- MAY I APPLY IF SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD IS NOT A U.S. CITIZEN? Yes. You, your children, or other household members do not have to be a U.S. citizen to apply for free or reduced price meals.
- WHAT IF MY INCOME IS NOT ALWAYS THE SAME? List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes. If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.
- WHAT IF SOME HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS HAVE NO INCOME TO REPORT? Household members may not receive some types of income we ask you to report on the application, or may not receive income at all. Whenever this happens, please write a 0 in the field. However, if any income fields are left empty or blank, those will also be counted as zeroes. Please be careful when leaving income fields blank, as we will assume you meant to do so.
- WE ARE IN THE MILITARY. DO WE REPORT OUR INCOME DIFFERENTLY? Your basic pay and cash bonuses must be reported as income. If you get any cash value allowances for off-base housing, food, or clothing, it must also be included as income. However, if your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income. Any additional combat pay resulting from deployment is also excluded from income.
- WHAT IF THERE ISN’T ENOUGH SPACE ON THE APPLICATION FOR MY FAMILY? List any additional household members on a separate piece of paper, and attach it to your application or contact Steve Robinson, 3797 Ridgewood Road, Copley, Ohio 44321 or 330-664-4800 or email@example.com to receive a second application
- MY FAMILY NEEDS MORE HELP. ARE THERE OTHER PROGRAMS WE MIGHT APPLY FOR? To find out how to apply for Ohio SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 877-852-0010.
If you have other questions or need help, please contact Steve Robinson at 330-664-4800
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
- WHO CAN GET FREE OR REDUCED-PRICE MEALS?