Who qualifies for FRPL? And other questions

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    Dear Parent or Guardian:

    Students need healthy meals to learn. The Essex Westford School District offers healthy meals every school day. In school year 2022-2023, all students will receive free breakfast and lunch at school. The State of Vermont has provided money to do this for one year through the Universal School Meals Act. We need your help to keep providing free meals to all students in future years. Please fill out this application for free and reduced-price school meals. If many families fill out and return this form, we will get more money from the federal government for free school meals now and in the future. We will also get more money for other school programs. Filling out this form also helps our community provide free summer meals for all kids and free meals for kids in childcare.

    If you submit this form by August 19, 2022, you may also qualify for a Summer 2022 Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefit. This is a one-time benefit of $391 per child to help pay for food at home. If your student was enrolled in school in June 2022, you may get this benefit if this form shows that you qualify.

    This packet includes an application for free and reduced-price meals and instructions. It also includes common questions and answers to help you. You may also fill out the form online at MySchoolApps.com.

    The information you provide is confidential. We follow strict federal rules to keep your information private.

    If you have other questions or need help, call 802-857-7263.

    Scott Fay


    Who can get free or reduced-price meals?

    • All children in households receiving benefits from 3SquaresVT or Reach-Up 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 the Federal Guidelines chart below.

    To find out how to apply for 3SquaresVTor other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 1-800-479-6151.

    How to apply


  • 1. 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. Return the completed application to: : Scott Fay, Essex High School, 2 Educational Drive, Essex Junction VT, 802-857-7333, sfay@ewsd.org.

    2. 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, contact Meghan Martin, mmartin@ewsd.org, 802-857-7333 immediately.

    3. 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 that school year and for the first few days of this school year. You must send in a new application unless the school told you that your child is eligible for the new school year.

    4. MAY I SUBMIT AN APPLICATION IF SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD IS NOT A U.S. CITIZEN? Yes. You, your children, or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply for free or reduced-price meals.

    5. WHO QUALIFIES FOR FREE OR REDUCED-PRICE MEALS? This year, all students in our schools will get free breakfast and lunch at school. But only some students qualify as “eligible” for free meals. These are:
    • All children in households receiving benefits from 3SquaresVT (SNAP) or Reach Up (TANF).
    • Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court.
    • Children participating in their school’s Head Start program.
    • Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant.
    Children may qualify as “eligible” for 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 the chart listed below.

    6. 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 arrangements? 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 email Erin Maguire, emaguire@ewsd.org, 802-857-2018.

    7. I GET WIC. ARE MY CHILDREN ELIGIBLE FOR FREE MEALS? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals but a meal application is needed. Please send in an application.

    8. WILL THE INFORMATION I GIVE BE CHECKED? We may contact you to ask you to send written proof of the household income you report.

    9. IF I DON’T QUALIFY NOW, MAY I APPLY AGAIN 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. If your income drops during the school year, please submit a new application. You do not need to submit a new application if your income increases.

    10. WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE SCHOOL’S DECISION ABOUT MY APPLICATION? You should talk to your school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to Brian Donahue, 51 Park Street, Essex Junction VT 05452, 802-857-4005, bdonahue@ewsd.org.

    11. WHAT IF MY INCOME IS NOT ALWAYS THE SAME? List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1,000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1,000 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.

    12. 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.

    13. 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, or receive Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance payments, 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.

    14. 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. Contact Meghan Martin, mmartin@ewsd.org, 802-857-7333 to receive a second application.

    15. MY FAMILY NEEDS MORE HELP. ARE THERE OTHER PROGRAMS WE CAN APPLY FOR? There are lots of programs to help provide food for your family!
    • 3SquaresVT can help you buy food at grocery stores, farmers' markets, and online. 3SquaresVT benefits are deposited each month on an EBT card, which works like a debit card. To find out how to apply for 3SquaresVT or other assistance benefits, visit https://dcf.vermont.gov/mybenefits or call 1-800-479-6151. You can also text VFBSNAP to 85511.
    • If you are pregnant or a caregiver or parent with a child under five, WIC can help with healthy foods. Text VTWIC to 85511 or call 1-800-464-4343.
    • Call 2-1-1 to find out more about programs that can help. 2-1-1 can also help you if you need food right away. The 2-1-1 call center is available 24 hours a day/seven days a week.


    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 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:

    1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
    2. fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
    3. email: program.intake@usda.gov

    This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

FRPL Program Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines | For School Year 2018-2019