Free, reduced lunches available

By Lenny C. Lepola - -

The Big Walnut Local School District offers healthy meals every school day. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Students from families that qualify for free and reduced lunch status also qualify for most athletic and academic fee waivers – free lunch status gets a 100 percent fee waiver and reduced lunch receives a 50 percent fee reduction.

Complete the confidential online application to apply for free or reduced price meals located on the school district website. On the school district home page click DISTRICT, on the dropdown menu click Food Service, on the food service page click Apply for Meal Benefits. The Meal Applications page includes Frequently Asked Questions and an PDF application.

Use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in your household. Application forms must be complete; the district cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information.

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.

If you received a letter this school year saying your children are approved for free meals, read the letter you received carefully and follow the instructions. Contact Linda Klamfoth at the Food Service Department at 740-965-8967 if you have questions.

If your child’s application was approved last year, you need to fill out another application this year. 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.

Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. .

You may be asked to give written proof of financial eligibility. If you do not qualify now, you may apply at any time during the school year. If you disagree with the school’s decision about your application you should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling Ron McClure, Director of Administrative Services, 740-965-8967.

You or your child or children do not have to be U.S. citizens to qualify for free or reduced price meals.

If your family needs additional assistance, to find out how to apply for Ohio SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 877-852-0010.

If you have other questions or need help, call the school district Food Service Department 740-965-8967.

By Lenny C. Lepola

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.