Last updated: August 07. 2014 6:41AM - 233 Views

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UNION COUNTY — Applications for families that meet the income requirements for their children to receive free or reduced price meals at school are now available from the Union County School District.

In a statement released this week, the district’s School Food Service annouced that the district participates in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs which provide meals for all students. New household income guidelines that are used to determine eligibility for free and reduced-price school meals are now available for 2014-15 (printed previously in this newspaper).

Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for free meals. Those with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced‐price meals, for which students are charged .40 cents for lunch and .30 cents for breakfast, (except school locations where breakfast is served free to all students).

For a family of four in 2014-15, for instance, 130 and 185 percent of the poverty level is $31,005 and $44,123, respectively, both up about 1.27 percent over the previous year.

Applications are available during registration and are also available on the District Food Service web page (Go to Food Service found under Departments at www.union.k12.sc.us) Only one application per household is needed.

Students who received free or reduced meal benefits in the previous school year have until Sept. 29 to have a new application for the 2014-2015 school year approved in the District Food Service Office. Applications for free or reduced price meals are accepted all throughout the year.

A household may qualify for free or reduced price meals due to a temporary loss of income, such as a period of unemployment, or an increase in family size. The information provided on the application for free and reduced price meal benefits will be used to determine student’s eligibility for free or reduced price meals.

Because they are automatically certified by the determining official via direct certification, SNAP/TANF families do not need to complete an application. These families will receive a Direct Certification letter for each student. If there is any question or concern regarding Direct Certification families should contact the Food Service Office at 864-429-1748 x719.

Breakfast and Lunch monies may be prepaid using an online prepayment service at www.myschoolbucks.com . Checks are accepted for prepayment and should be made out to (name of school) Food Service (Example: Buffalo Elementary Food Service). Money received is held in the student account and debited each time a meal is purchased.

All meals served in Union County Schools meet the standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Union County Schools Food and Nutrition Services department is made up of a team of food and nutrition professionals that are dedicated to students’ health, well being and their ability to learn. We support learning by promoting healthy habits for lifelong nutrition and fitness practices.

Meals, foods and beverages sold or served at schools meet state and federal requirements which are based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines. We provide students with access to a variety of affordable and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students.

USDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free 866-632-9992 (Voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339; or 800-845-6136 (in Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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