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Free & Reduced FAQ

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FREE AND REDUCED PRICE SCHOOL MEALS

 ​​Dear Parent/Guardia​n:

​Chil​dren need healthy meals to learn. Fulton County Schools (FCS) offers healthy meals daily at a reasonable price. At elementary schools, the price for breakfast is $1.05 and lunch is $2.45. For middle and high schools, the price for breakfast is $1.20 and lunch is $2.70. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Reduced price is $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch. This packet includes an application for free or reduced price meal benefits, and a set of detailed instructions. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process.​
  1. ​WHO CAN GET FREE OR REDUCED PRICE MEALS?
    • ​All children in households receiving benefits from SNAP or TANF 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 who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.
    • Children may qualify for free or reduced price meals if your household income falls at or below the limits of the Federal Eligibility Income chart on the back of the application.                                                            ​                                                                
  2. ​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 arrangement? 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 the Homeless Liaison or Migrant Coordinator at (470) 254-0470. ​​​                                                                                                                                                                                           
  3. ​​DO I NEED TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION FOR EACH CHILD? No. Use one Free and Reduced Price Meal Application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete.  Please be sure to fill out all required information. Return the completed application to the School Nutrition Manager of the youngest child or mail to School Nutrition Program, 6201 Powers Ferry Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30339.​                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  4. ​CAN I APPLY ONLINE? Yes! You are encouraged to complete an online application instead of a paper application, if you are able. The online application has the same requirements and will ask you for the same information as the paper application. Visit www.fulton.schoollunchapp.com to begin or to learn more about the online application process. Contact the School Nutrition Program at (470) 254-2220 or email freeandreduced@fultonschools.org if you have any questions about the online application.                                                                                                           
  5. ​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, through September 18, 2017.  You must submit a new meal application unless you have been notified that your children are eligible for free meals for school year 2017-2018. If you do not submit a new application that is approved by September 18, 2017 or you have not been notified that your child is eligible for free meals, your child will be charged the full price for meals.                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  6. ​I GET WIC. CAN MY CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals.  Please send in a paper meal application or complete an online meal application at www.fulton.schoollunchapp.com.                                                            
  7. ​WILL THE INFORMATION I GIVE BE CHECKED? Yes. We may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  8. IF I DON'T QUALIFY NOW, MAY I APPLY 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 as define in the Federal Eligibility Income Chart.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  9. WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE SCHOOL'S DECISION ABOUT MY APPLICATION? You should talk to school officials. You may also request a hearing by calling Oreal Oladele at (470) 254-8963 or by writing to School Nutrition Program, 6201 Powers Ferry Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30339, or by emailing freeandreduced@fultonschools.org.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ​
  10. MAY I APPLY 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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  11. WHAT IS MY INCOME IS NOT ALWAYS THE SAME? List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1000 per month.  If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime occasionally.  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, 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 when submitting it, contact School Nutrition Program by calling (470) 254-2220 to request a second application, or complete an online application at www.fulton.schoollunchapp.com.                                                                                                                                    
  15. MY FAMILY NEEDS MORE HELP. ARE THERE OTHER PROGRAMS WE MIGHT APPLY FOR? To find out how to apply for SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 1-877-423-4746.                                                                                                                                                                                                            ​                                                                     ​                                                         If you have other questions or need help, call (470) 254-2220 for more information.​

Sincerely,

​​​Alyssia Wright                                                                                                                                                                                      ​School Nutrition Department​​​