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New this school year: Changes to free and reduced-price meal programs

For the last few years, students at seven Springfield district schools have been able to receive free and reduced-price meals without having to apply for the program, thanks to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.  

But that process is a little different this school year, as students at the seven schools, including Douglas Gardens Elementary, Guy Lee Elementary, Hamlin Middle School, Maple Elementary, Page Elementary, Riverbend Elementary and Two Rivers-Dos Ríos Elementary, no longer qualify for Community Eligibility Provision.

Students still have access to free and reduced-price meals but need to fill out paperwork applications to ensure that they’re signed up.

More information on free and reduced-price meals in the Springfield district can be found here

Applications can be found here: ode.state.or.us.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

Does my child qualify for free and reduced-price meals?

Children may qualify for free or reduced-price meals if total household income is at or below the amount of Federal Income Guidelines. Children in households receiving Food Stamps or TANF and most foster children can receive free meals regardless of household income. Households receiving WIC, Oregon Health Plan or other governmental assistance may qualify.

 

Do I need to apply for each child separately?

No, only one application is required per household, and all household members should be listed. Foster children are now considered members of the household. 

Do I have to reapply each year?

Yes. A new application must be submitted each school year in order to determine eligibility for the current school year. The Free and Reduced Household Application needs to be processed by mid-October in order to continue to be eligible for free and reduced lunch.

What if my financial situation changes during the year?

You can submit an application at any time during the school year. If household income goes up or down due to job loss, etc.

How does the school know what our status is?

Springfield Public Schools has a computerized system that is networked from the central office to all of the schools. School computers are automatically updated with information. When the child enters his or her student ID number, the computer will have the needed information to process them as a Free, Reduced or a Paid meal. 

I don't want anyone else to know that we are getting free lunch.

The SNAP system used by the school district (School Nutrition Accountability Program) not only manages the data but assures parents that other students cannot know who is on the federally subsidized program. Confidentiality is taken very seriously and assured.

What if I disagree with the decision about my eligibility?

You may ask for a hearing by writing to Brett Yancey, 640 A Street, Springfield, OR  97477. 

Background on the Community Eligibility Provision program

The CEP determines a school’s eligibility for the program based on a number of factors, including participation in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) among others.

To learn more about the Community Eligibility Provision, click here.