The Olentangy Local School District recently released details on its 2023-24 policy for free and reduced-price meals for students unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs. Any interested party can find copies of the policy in each school office as well as the district’s central office.
The Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines will be used to determine eligibility for the programs. Children from families whose annual income does not exceed the federal guidelines are eligible for free and reduced-price meals. Application forms are distributed to all homes in a letter to parents or guardians, and additional forms are available in the principal’s office of each school. A complete application is required and can be returned to the applicant’s respective school.
Households that currently receive Special Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits (SNAP, formally known as food stamps) or Ohio Works First (OWF) funds for a child must provide the child’s name, the SNAP or OWF case number, and signature of an adult household member on the application. Households that do not receive SNAP or OWF funds must provide the names of all household members, the last four digits of the Social Security Number of the adult signing the application or state “none” if the adult does not have a Social Security Number, the amount and source of income received by each household member (state the monthly income), and the signature of an adult household member. If any of this information is missing, the school cannot process the application.
Foster children are eligible for free meal benefits regardless of the household’s income. If a family has foster children living with them and wishes to apply for such meals or milk for them, contact the school for more information.
Households may apply for benefits at any time during the school year. If a household is not currently eligible but the household size increases or income decreases because of unemployment or other reasons, the family should contact the school to file a new application.
Free healthcare also available
According to the district, families with children eligible for school meals may be eligible for free health care coverage through Medicaid and/or Ohio’s Healthy Start & Healthy Families programs.
These programs include coverage for doctor visits, immunizations, physicals, prescriptions, dental, vision, mental health, substance abuse, and more. For more information or to request an application, call 1-800-324-8680. Information can also be found by visiting jfs.ohio.gov/ohp/consumers/familychild.stm.
Anyone who has an Ohio Medicaid card is already receiving these services. The information provided on the application is confidential and will only be used for the purpose to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials.
To discourage the possibility of misrepresentation, the application forms contain a statement above the space for signature certifying that all information furnished is true and correct. Applications are being made in connection with the receipt of federal funds. Deliberate misrepresentation of information may subject the applicant to prosecution under applicable state and federal laws. Households will be notified of the approval or denial of benefits.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.