Frequently Asked Questions…

Q. Who can get free meals?
A. Children living in households whose monthly income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines released by the UDSA for free meals. Children who are receiving SNAP (Food Stamps), TANF, DCPIR and most Foster children can receive free meals.

Q. Who can receive reduced-price meals?
A. Children living in households whose monthly income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines released by the USDA for reduced-price meals.

Q. What are the income guidelines for the free and reduce-price meal program?
A. The National School Lunch and Breakfast program use the USDA Income Eligibility Guidelines, which are adjusted annually for inflation. These guidelines are used when approving applications for children who apply to receive a free or reduced-price meal. The free meal guideline is 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and the reduced-price meal guideline is 185% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. All districts receive a copy of the revised guidelines each year.

Q. How do I apply for free or reduced-price meal benefits for my child(ren)?
A. Complete the Free & Reduced-Price Household Meal Application online by clicking or by clicking on and clicking on the link .

Q. What if I do not have a computer or smart phone?
A. This application can be completed at any library, school site or the Food and Nutrition Services District office located at 1007 W. Main Street, Bldg. 200, Inverness, FL 34450. A paper application can also be requested by calling the school or the District office at 352-726-1931 X 2402.

Q. How long does it take for my application to be approved?
A. If the application is submitted online, the application is processed within two (2) school days, sometimes sooner. If a paper application is submitted, it could take up to ten (10) school days once the application is received in the Food and Nutrition Services District Office.

Q. How often do I need to apply?
A. Applications are approved for one (1) School Year. If your application was approved for reduced-price meals or if you were denied benefits and you have a change in income or household size. Students automatically approved by the state (based on SNAP or TANF) will receive a letter in July to that affect. If your household does not receive this letter, you will need to apply at the beginning of the School Year.

Q. Can homeless, runaway, and migrant students receive free or reduced-price meals?
A. Yes, but you must do the following BEFORE completing the application to see if your child(ren) qualify: If homeless or runaway, contact the District Student Services Center at 352- 527- 0090; if migrant, contact the Migrant Education Program at 352- 228- 0377.

Q. I receive WIC benefits. Do my children qualify for Free or Reduced-Price Meals?
A. Not necessarily; determination of benefits is based on Income. Children living in families whose monthly income fall within the Income Guidelines released by the USDA for free and reduced-price meals. Please submit an application.

Q. If I receive notification that I do not qualify at this time, may I reapply again during the same school year?
A. Yes. If at any time during the current school year the monthly income for your family changes or the size of your household changes, you may reapply by calling the district Food and Nutrition Services Office. You cannot reapply online.

Q. I disagree with the district’s decision about my benefits, what do I do?
A. You should contact the district Food and Nutrition Services office to find out what their procedures are for disputing the claim.

Q. Do I need to fill out an application for each child?
A. No. An application can be filled out for all of the students in your household, regardless of relationship. Please be sure that the application is complete; it cannot be approved until it is complete. FOSTER CHILDREN MAY BE INCLUDED AS A “MEMBER” WHEN DETERMINING HOUSEHOLD SIZE.

Q. Should I fill out an application if I receive a letter this school year from the district Food and Nutrition Services Department stating my child(ren) qualified for free or reduced-price meal benefits?
A. Please read the letter carefully and follow the instructions contained in the letter. If you have any further questions, please contact the district Food and Nutrition Services Department for more information.

Q. Will the Information I provide in this process be verified?
A. Yes, the information may be verified and you may be asked to send written proof of any or all of the information you provided.

Q. Do all of the members of my household have to be U.S. Citizens to apply for Free or Reduced-Price meal benefits?
A. No, neither you nor your children have to be a U.S. Citizen to receive Free or Reduced-Price meals.

Q. Who should be included when determining my household size or listing the members of my household?
A. You must include all of the people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relative, or friends). You must include yourself and all children who live with you.

Q. What if my income fluctuates and is not always the same amount?
A. List the amount received most often.

Q. My family is a military dependent family; do we include out housing allowance as income?
A. No. If your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income.