APS News Release

Policy for Providing Free Meals for School Divisions Participating in the Seamless Summer Option for all Students

Arlington Public Schools announced its policy for providing meals for children served under the National School Lunch, and/or School Breakfast Programs. All schools in the division will be participating in the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) as implemented under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Enrolled students will be provided a nutritious meal for breakfast and lunch each day at no charge to the household. Households will not be required to submit a meal application form to receive meals at no charge. Each household will receive a letter informing them of the program, including contact information for any questions. Each school and/or central school nutrition office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

The new school year requires a new meal application. Although school meals will be provided free to all children, school funding and eligibility for other programs depends on completed meal applications. A new meal application must be completed if you have not already turned in an application for the new school year. School meal eligibility does not roll over from year to year. It is important to submit a completed meal application as soon as possible.

Household size and income will also be used to determine eligibility for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits for children who are not enrolled in a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school. Children from households whose income is at or below the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines, shown in the chart below, may be eligible for P-EBT benefits.

Household Size Maximum Household Income for Free Meals Household Income for Reduced-Price Meals
1 $16,744 $16,744.01 – $23,828
2 $22,646 $22,646.01 – $32,227
3 $28,548 $28,548.01 – $40,626
4 $34,450 $34,450.01 – $49,025
5 $40,352 $40,352.01 – $57,424
6 $46,254 $46,254.01 – $65,823
7 $52,156 $52,156.01 – $74,222
8 $58,058 $58,058.01 – $82,621
For each additional family member, add: $5,902 $8,399

Children who are members of households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly the Food Stamp Program) or who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) may be automatically eligible for P-EBT. Children who are homeless, migrant, or runaway may also be automatically eligible for P-EBT. Foster children, who are the legal responsibility of a welfare agency or court, are eligible for P-EBT regardless of the income of the household with whom they reside. Children who are members of households participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) may also be eligible for P-EBT based on the household’s income.

Application forms will be distributed to all households with a letter informing households of the availability of P-EBT for their children. Applications are also available at the principal’s office in each school and at the central office. To apply for P-EBT, households must only fill out one application per household and return it to the school division. Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used for determining eligibility and verification of data. Applications may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials. For school officials to determine eligibility for free or reduced-price benefits, households receiving SNAP benefits or TANF only have to list their child(ren)’s name and SNAP or TANF case number and an adult household member must sign the application. Households who do not list a SNAP or TANF case number, including WIC households, must list the names of all household members, the amount and frequency of the income received by each household member, and the last four digits of the social security number of the adult household member who signs the application. If the household member does not have a social security number, the household member must indicate that a social security number is not available. The application must be signed by an adult household member in order to be approved.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, Deiry Trejo, Free and Reduced coordinator will review applications and determine eligibility. An application cannot be approved unless it is complete. Households dissatisfied with the ruling of the eligibility determining official may wish to discuss the decision with the official on an informal basis. Households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either verbally or in writing to: Amy Maclosky, Director, Food and Nutrition Services, 2110 Washington Blvd. Arlington, VA. 22204. 703-228-6133.

Households may apply for P-EBT at any time during the school year. If a household is not eligible now but has a change, such as a decrease in household income, an increase in household size, becomes unemployed or qualifies for SNAP or TANF, the household should contact the school for an application. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.

Households that receive SNAP or TANF benefits may not have to complete an application for free or reduced-price student meals. School officials will determine eligibility for free meals based on documentation, obtained directly from the Virginia Department of Social Services, that a child is a member of a household currently receiving SNAP or TANF. School officials will notify these households in writing of their eligibility. Households who are notified of their eligibility, but who do not want their children to receive free meals, must contact the school. SNAP and TANF households must complete an application if they are not notified in writing of their automatic eligibility within the first 10 days of the new school year.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.   

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. 

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter 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;  

(2)      fax: (202) 690-7442; or  

(3)      email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.