Free, reduced-price meals available for students

Fairfield Community School District Food Service Director Stephanie Hawkins is encouraging parents who can?t afford the full price of school meals to consider applying for a federal program that provides free and reduced-price meals to qualified students.

?Nourishing children is so important,? said Hawkins, explaining that children cannot be expected to focus and learn without proper nourishment.

The Fairfield district?s national school lunch and breakfast program offers a nutritious and delicious balanced breakfast and lunch, but some families struggle to provide the funds for the meals. The free and reduced program can help those families.

Households might be eligible for the program: If the household income is at or below the guideline levels; if students are in food assistance households and receiving benefits under Family Investment Program and other specific Department of Human Services programs; if the food assistance and FIP household receives a letter from DHS qualifying the kids; or if food assistance and FIP households that do not receive a letter from DHS complete an application to see if they qualify for free or reduced price meals.

This year there is an increase in the income guidelines, meaning those with a higher income than was approved for last year might now be eligible for free or reduced meals.

?This change in income could help more people especially those that were just over the income guidelines last year,? said Hawkins.

For free meals, families of three will have to make $27,014 or below a year. Families of four will have to make $32,630 or below a year, and families of five will have to make $38,246 or below a year to qualify.

For reduced price meals, families of three will have to make $38,443 or below a year, families of four have to make $46,435 or below a year and families of five have to make $54,427 or below a year to qualify.

More income guidelines are stated in the chart accessible by clicking below.

?I want to stress to all parents to apply,? Hawkins said. ?If you aren?t sure you will qualify, please apply.?

Call Hawkins at 472-2655, Ext. 6703, for details.