Application Questions and Answers

1) Q I filled out an application last year, do I have to fill one out this year?
A

Yes, a new application must be filled out and sent to the school's food service department by September 30th.
2) Q When does this year's free and reduced application have to be turned in by?
A

The new school year free and reduced meal application must be turned in by September 30th.
3) Q Does direct certification apply to my child who attends a school that doesn't have a lunch or a breakfast program?
A

Direct certification applies to children who attend schools where the federal government pays for the milk served to children and free milk is available to eligible students. Contact the school principal or school lunch director to find out if the school participates in the Special Milk Program with the free milk option.

4) Q Do these free meals apply to any food that my child obtains at school?
A

Direct certification applies only to meals served to your child under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. It does not apply to food obtained separately (a la carte items or an ala carte type of school food service program).

5) Q Does this apply to my child who attends a nonpublic school?
A

Yes, if the nonpublic school participates in the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, or Special Milk Programs. Contact the school principal to find out if the school takes part in any of these federal programs.
6) Q What if one of the children listed lives in my household, but is not my child?
A

Kinship is not a factor in establishing the child's eligibility. Fill in the name of the school and grade the child attends and return the TADA letter to the school.

7) Q What if one of the children listed is no longer in my household?
A

The letter should be provided to the household of the child.
8) Q What should I do if one of my children is not listed on a letter?
A

Add their names to the direct certification letter, and notify the food service director that you have additional children living in the household. The food service director or school must verify the children's address through school enrollment records.




9) Q Can my preschooler (3 year old), who is listed on the letter, get free lunch or free milk?
A

A three year old child can only receive the free milk or free meal benefits if the child is enrolled in a school.
10) Q Can I refuse to accept these free meals for my children?
A

Yes, you can refuse these benefits by not sending the letter from TADA to the school.
11) Q What if one or more of my children doesn’t like school lunch? Can I refuse the free meals for some of the children listed in the letter?
A

By federal regulation, the school must provide the same free meal benefits for all the children in the household. Even if only one child likes the school lunches, you should accept the free meal benefits. The meals will be made available to all the children, but they are not required to take them.

12) Q If my child qualifies for free school meals, can he/she get free milk when he/she brings a lunch from home to school?
A

No. The school cannot give your child free milk in schools where free meals, which include milk, are available to students. The school can give free milk only to its halfday prekindergarten and kindergarten students, who are not in school during the meal service, providing the school participates in the Special Milk Program with the free milk program.
13) Q If my child qualified for free school meals, can he/she get free milk at recess time?
A

No. The free meal benefits apply only to complete meals in schools offering lunches or breakfasts for which the federal government makes payments to the school.
14) Q Is free milk for prekindergarten and kindergarten students only?
A

Not necessarily. If the prekindergarten and kindergarten students are halfday students and are, therefore, not in school when breakfast and lunch meals are served, these children are eligible for free milk. Free milk is available to any student in a school where the federal government pays for milk under the Special Milk Program, but does not pay for meals, and the school has opted to offer free milk.
15) Q Can my child, who is home schooled, get a free lunch when he/she makes use of other school facilities?
A

Federal regulations restrict the availability of the free meals to enrolled school children. Free school meals are not available to the homeschooled child.


16) Q Can my child who has graduated from high school but is living in my household, get free meals at school if he/she is listed on this letter?
A

No. Only enrolled students are eligible to take part in these benefits.

17) Q What if no child in my household is old enough to be responsible for getting this letter to the school?
A

If you are uncomfortable about having a child take the letter to the school, either mail it or take it to the school yourself. The school must have an approved application or this letter on file so it can give your child a free meal or free milk.

18) Q When will my child receive free meals or free milk?
A

Any child who received free meals last year will get free meals/milk at the start of school this year. If your family is new to the school system or firsttime recipients of free meal benefits, you should call the lunch director or principal of the school.


19) Q How do I notify the school about changes in income or loss of benefits?
A

Send a note or call the school official identified in the letter to parents that you received with the Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals/Milk.
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