Families Encouraged to Complete Application for HISD’s Free and Reduced Price Meals Program

Application available online and at all HISD campuses for 2016-17 academic year

The Houston Independent School District announced its policy today for providing free and reduced-price meals for children served under the attached current income eligibility guidelines. Each school/site or the central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by anyone on request.

Starting on Aug. 22, 2016, the Houston Independent School District will begin distributing letters to the households of the children in the district about eligibility benefits and any actions households need to take to apply for these benefits. Applications also are available at the HISD Nutrition Services Support Facility and all HISD schools.

Parents may complete an online application by going to https://mealapps.houstonisd.org. Please provide all required information in order for your application to be processed.

Parents may wish to pre-pay for students’ meals by visiting https://www.schoolcafe.com/.

HISD offers free lunch to students at 186 schools in the district through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). For a complete list of the campuses identified to participate in the program, click here.

Criteria for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits

The following criteria will be used to determine a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meal benefits:

Income

  1. Household income that is at or below the income eligibility levels

Categorical or Automatic Eligibility

  1. Household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

Program Participant

  1. Child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant, or displaced by a declared disaster
  2. Child’s enrollment in Head Start or Even Start

Income Eligibility

For those households that qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on income, an adult in the household must fill out free and reduced-price meal application and return it to the child’s school. Those individuals filling out the application will need to provide the following information:

  1. Names of all household members
  2. Amount, frequency, and source of current income for each household member
  3. Last 4 digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application or, if the adult does not have a social security number, check the box for “No Social Security number”
  4. Signature of an adult household member attesting that the information provided is correct

Categorical or Program Eligibility

The Houston Independent School District is working with local agencies to identify all children who are categorically and program eligible. The Houston Independent School District will notify the households of these children that they do not need to complete an application. Any household that does not receive a letter and feels it should have should contact HISD/Nutrition Services, Student Eligibility and Accountability Department at 713-491-5944.

Any household that wishes to decline benefits should contact HISD/Nutrition Services, Student Eligibility and Accountability Department at 713-491-5944.

Applications may be submitted anytime during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility. Applications may also be verified by the school officials at any time during the school year.

Determining Eligibility

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, Student Eligibility and Accountability’s Manager, Team Leader and Clerical/Data Entry Staff will review applications and determine eligibility. Households or guardians dissatisfied with the Reviewing Official’s eligibility determination may wish to discuss the decision with the Reviewing Official on an informal basis. Households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either orally or in writing to Sr. Administrator, Nutrition Services, 6801 Bennington St., Houston, TX 77028, Phone 713-491-5715.

Unexpected Circumstances

If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below the attached current income eligibility guidelines.

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