Each year, a large percentage of students nationwide qualify for free or reduced lunch. For Clay Community Schools, there are a few ways to find out if a student qualifies for free or reduced lunch.
Carolyn Kumpf, director of Personnel, Data and Food Services at Clay Community Schools, spoke with The Brazil Times to give more information.
According to Kumpf, if a student belongs to a family that currently receives food stamps or belongs to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, their student file will be matched at the state level to qualify them for free or reduced lunch. Those who qualify will receive a letter from Clay Community Schools by Friday, Aug. 3.
If a student does not receive a letter and their parent or guardian thinks they qualify for free or reduced lunch, they must go online to the Clay Community Schools website at http://www.edline.net/pages/clay_communi... and click Free/Reduced Lunch Online Application under the Quick Links sidebar.
This application will be available Aug. 10.
If a family does not have Internet or computer access, they can request a paper application from their child's school and return it to that same school.
The online application is faster in that the turnaround rate is quicker, but both methods of applying are acceptable.
Children who were a part of the free or reduced lunch program during the last school year need to fill out a new application for this upcoming school year.
Kumpf asks that parents fill out those applications as soon as possible.
The grace period for those children receiving free or reduced lunch without a new application this year will end Sept. 14.
Students may qualify for free or reduced lunch based on their family's federal income and the number of people in their household, so if a parent feels their child could qualify, they are encouraged to apply.
Kumpf emphasized the free or reduced lunch program and the regulations of the program are done at a federal level.
Clay Community Schools must follow the regulations of the program.
"We want to make sure that any and every child who wants to eat can eat," Kumpf said, emphasizing that the schools make "balanced, nutritional meals," for students.
More information about the free or reduced lunch program can be found at the schools beginning Aug. 1.