20-21 ACSD Policy for Free and/or Reduced Price Meals


Athens City School District today announced its 2020-2021 program year policy for free and or reduced price meals for students unable to pay the full price of meals or milk served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast, After School Care Snack or Special Milk Programs. Each school office and the central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.


The Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines will be used to determine eligibility. Children from families whose annual
income is at or below the federal guidelines are eligible for free and reduced-price meals or free milk if the school
participates in the Special Milk Program.


Application forms are distributed to all homes in a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free and reduced-
price benefits, households should complete an application and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at the principal’s office in each school. A complete application is required. Households which
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.


FREE HEALTH CARE: 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. Please call 1-800-324-8680 for more information or to request an application. Information can
also be found on the web at http://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 official. 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. Schools or other officials may check the information on the application at any
time during the school year. 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.


Foster children are categorically 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.


Under the provision of the policy, Timarie Francis, Food Service Director will review applications and determine
eligibility. If a parent or guardian disagrees with the decision on the application or the result of verification, the
decision may be discussed with the determining official on an informal basis. If a formal appeal is desired, the
household has the right to a fair hearing. A fair hearing can be requested either orally or in writing from:
Dr. Thomas Gibbs, Superintendent, P.O. Box 9, Chauncey, Ohio 45710 or 740-797-4544

The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure.


Households may apply for benefits any time during the school year. If a household is not currently eligible and
if the household size increases or income decreases because of unemployment or other reasons, the family
should contact the school to file a new application. Such changes may make the children of the family eligible
for free or reduced-price benefits if the family income falls at or below the levels shown above.


Nondiscrimination Statement

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: How to File a Complaint, 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;

  1. Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
  2. Email: program.intake@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.



Dear ACSD Parents/Guardians:


Children need healthy meals to learn. Athens City Schools offers healthy meals every school day. Breakfast costs $1.50; lunch costs $3.00. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Reduced price is $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch. 


If you are not able to print the application (2 pages) and Sharing Information form (1 page) and need a paper copy of the application mailed to you, please email foodservices@athenscsd.org with your name, the name of your child(ren) and your mailing address. 


Click the links below to access the application and permission to share forms.


Additional Information

  1. Do I need to fill out an application for each child? No. Complete the application to apply for free or reduced price meals. Use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information. You can email your completed application to foodservices@athenscsd.org or mail to ACS Attn: Food Services Dept. 51-55 West State Street, Athens, OH 45701
  2. Who can get free meals? Children in households receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program), or Ohio Works First (OWF) benefits and most foster children can get free meals regardless of your income. Also, your children can get free meals if your household's gross income is within the free limits on the Federal Income Guidelines.
  3. Can homeless, runaway and migrant children get free meals? If you have not been told your children will get free meals, please complete an application to see if they qualify.
  4. Who can get reduced price meals? Your children can get low cost meals if your household income is within the reduced price limits on the Federal Income Chart
  5. Should I fill out an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are approved for free meals? No, if you received a letter stating your child(ren) will receive benefits for the 2020-2021 school year you do not need to complete an application.
  6. My Child's application was approved last year. Do I need to fill out another one? Yes. Your child's application is only good for that school year and for the first few days of this school year. You must send in a new application unless the school told you that your child is eligible for the new school year.
  7. I get WlC. Can my child(ren) get free meals? Children in households participating in WIG may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please fil out an application.
  8. Will the information I give be checked? Yes, we may ask you to send written proof.
  9. If I don't qualify now, may I apply later? Yes. You may apply at any time during the school year.
  10. What if I disagree with the school's decision about my application? You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to Dr. Thomas Gibbs, Superintendent P.O. Box 9, Chauncey, OH 45719, 797-4544.
  11. May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen? Yes. You or your child(ren) do not have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for free or reduced price meals.
  12. Who should I include as members of my household? You must include all people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends). You must include yourself and all children who live with you.
  13. What if 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 sometimes.
  14. We are in the military; do we include our housing allowance as income?  If you get an off-base housing allowance, it must be included as income. However, if your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income.
  15. My Spouse is deployed to a combat zone. Is her combat pay counted as income? No, if the combat pay is received in addition to her basic pay because of her deployment and it wasn't received before she was deployed, combat pay is not counted as income
  16. Why am I being asked about giving consent for an instructional fee waiver? Ohio Public Schools are required to waive the school instructional fees for children who qualify for free meal benefits. School Food Service personnel must have parent consent to share student meal application if your child(ren) qualify for a fee waiver. If you agree to allow your child(ren)'s meal application to be shared with school officials to see if he/she/they qualify for a fee waiver, then check "yes" in part 5. If you do not wish for your information to be shared, then check "no" in part 5. Answering no to this question will mean your child will not be able to be considered for a fee waiver. Answering this question either way will not change whether your child(ren) will get free or reduced price meals.
  17. My Family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for? To find out how to apply for Ohio SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 877-852-0010.

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Athens City School District  |  PO Box 9 (21 Birge Dr.)  |  Chauncey, OH 45719
Phone:740-797-4544  |  Fax:740-797-2486