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Garland ISD announces changes to free, reduced-price meals

(GARLAND ISD, TX – August 16, 2018) Garland ISD has announced a change to its free and reduced-price meals served under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program for 2018-19. Twenty-four campuses across the district now qualify for the Community Eligibility Provision, which provides breakfast and lunch to every student at no charge, eliminating the collection of free and reduced-price meals applications. This new approach reduces burdens for both families and school staff while also helping to ensure that all students receive nutritious meals. Read more about the Community Eligibility Provision and see a list of participating schools.

Other GISD campuses will continue offering free and reduced-price meals to those who meet eligibility criteria. This month, Student Nutrition Services began distributing letters to district families regarding available benefits and how to apply. Applications can be submitted online at mealapp.garlandisd.net or via paper at 701 N. 1st St., Garland, TX 75040.

Eligibility criteria includes:

  • Household income that is at or below the income eligibility levels. View these on the district website or at any district school.
  • Receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).
  • Status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant, or displaced by a declared disaster.
  • Enrollment in Head Start or Even Start.

To apply for free and reduced-price meals, families should submit just one application per household listing:

  • Names of all household members.
  • Amount, frequency, and source of current income for each household member.
  • Last four digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application or, if the adult does not have a Social Security number, a check in the box for “I do not have a Social Security number.”
  • Signature of an adult household member attesting that the information provided is correct.

Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year, and all information provided is used solely for the purpose of determining eligibility. Those who receive a notification letter about students being directly certified for free meals do not have to complete an application. Any household that does not receive a letter and feels it should have may contact Student Nutrition Services at 972-494-8322.

Families should also contact Student Nutrition Services if a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases as these changes could make students eligible for benefits. Households wishing to decline benefits should contact Student Nutrition Services as well. Any family dissatisfied with its eligibility determination can discuss the decision informally with the reviewing official or make a formal appeal for a hearing. Formal appeals can be requested either verbally or in writing to Brad Trudeau, director of Student Nutrition Services.

Submitted by Tiffany Veno, Director of Communications, Garland ISD, for publication in Blue Ribbon News. 

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