POINT PLEASANT — According to Cristi Rulen, spokesperson for Mason County Public Schools food services, the free and reduced meal program will remain much the same this academic year.
“We’ll continue the same program again this year,” Rulen said. “Eight of our schools qualified for the community eligibility — that is, all students in these school will receive a free breakfast and lunch for the year.”
Rulen added that the breakfasts and lunches will come at no cost to parents and also require no individual paperwork or qualification at these eight schools. Only Point Pleasant and Wahama High Schools are not eligible for this particular program, but individual parents and guardians and adults in these two schools may still apply for the program.
The community eligibility is based on the percentage of needy students in the school system.
Four of the schools, Rulen said, have also qualified for a fresh fruit grant.
“Ashton, Beale and Leon Elementaries, as well as Point Pleasant Primary, are getting grant money that enables them to provide a fresh fruit snack to the children in the afternoons.”
The individual eligibility guidelines for the 2013-14 year are as follows:
For a family of one, the annual income must be no greater than $21,257; with a monthly income of no greater than $1,772; and weekly income no greater than $409. For a family of two, an annual income no greater than $28,694; with a monthly income of no greater than $2,392; and with a weekly income of no greater than $552. For a family of three, an annual income of no greater than $36,131; a monthly income of no greater than $3,011; and a weekly income of no greater than $695. For a family of four, an annual income of no greater than $43,568; a monthly income of no greater than $3,631; and a weekly income of no greater than $838. For a family of five, an annual income no greater than $51,005; a monthly income of no greater than $4,251; and a weekly income of no greater than $981.
For a family of six, an annual income of no more than $58,442; a monthly income no greater than $4,871; and a weekly income no greater than $1,124. For a family of seven, a annual income no greater than $65,879; a monthly income no greater than $5,490; and a weekly income no greater than $1,267. For a family of eight, an annual income no greater than $73,316; a monthly income no greater than $6,110; and a weekly income no greater than $1,410. To calculate the income guidelines for families with more than eight people, add an additional $7,437 per year, $620 per month, or $144 per week.
According to a release from the Mason County Board of Education, application forms for free and reduced meals and milk will be sent to some homes, accompanied by a letter for parents, guardians and adult household members. More copies may be found at all schools and county offices. Any information provided by household members will remain confidential and will only be used for the purposes of determining eligibility. Required information on the forms includes the last four digits of the social security number of the household member who signs the forms. Households that receive food stamps or TANF benefits must provide a food stamp/TANF case number.
In addition, households with foster children may include the foster children as household members, and any personal income earned by the child. Payments received from the placing agency are not considered income. Other information that will be required on applications, are names of adult participant, and those of their dependents. Eligibility status remains in effect for one year.