Published: Aug 20, 2010 7:04 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 20, 2010 4:04 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Lee County Public Schools announced its policy for free and reduced price meals for children unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. All children attending a School Board of Lee County Public School will be provided breakfast at no charge.

To speed the processing of the applications, the District has made the free and reduced meal application available online at ( Those who complete an application online do not need to complete a paper application. Parents/guardians are encouraged to apply online or by mail before the start of the school year.

Blank meal applications will continue to be available at all Lee County public schools. The District receives more than 60,000 meal applications at the start of each school year, so early submission will help prevent delay in receiving meal benefits to those who qualify.

Households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are required to list on the application the food stamp or SNAP/TANF case number next to each child’s name. Households with children who are considered migrants should call 239-337-8354; situations that involve homeless or runaway students should call 239-337-8696.

For the central office personnel to determine eligibility, all other households must provide the following information listed on the application:

· Total household income listed by gross amount received, type of income (e.g., wages, child support, etc.) and how often the income is received by each household member;

· Names of all household members – check the “no income” box if applicable; if household member is a child, list school name for each;

· Social security number of the adult signing the application or mark the box “NONE” for this household member if he or she does not have a social security number.

· The signature of an adult household member certifying that the information provided is correct.

If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size changes, or the household income changes over $50 per month, an updated application must be submitted. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced price meal policy, the Central Food Service Office will scan applications and eligibility will be determined electronically. If a parent or guardian is dissatisfied with the ruling, he/she may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. If the parent wishes to make a formal appeal, he/she may make a request either orally or in writing to Wayne Nagy, Director, Food Services; 2855 Colonial Blvd; Fort Myers, FL 33966 or by calling 239-461-8449, for a hearing to appeal the decision. The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure.

If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size changes, the Food Service Office should be notified by the completion of a new free and reduced application. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for reduced price meals, or for additional benefits such as free meals.

Foster children are also eligible for these benefits. If a household has foster children living with them and wishes to apply for such meals for them, the household should complete a free and reduced meal application marking the foster box in Section 1. The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only for purposes of determining eligibility and verifying data.

For more information, please contact the Food and Nutrition Services Department of the School District of Lee County at 461-8449.