FAQ – Free & Reduced Price Meals

1. Is an application required for each child?

No. Use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in the household. Incomplete applications cannot be approved, so be sure to fill out all required information and sign the form. Return the completed application to the cafeteria manager or mail to:

M-W Food Services
Education Center
278 Route 32
Central Valley, NY 10917
or fax to (845)460-6061

For help completing the application, call (845) 460-6200 ext 6248.

2. Who can get free meals?

All children in households receiving benefits from SNAP, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations or TANF, can get free meals regardless of family income. Also, children can receive free meals if the household’s gross income is within the free limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.

3. Can foster children get free meals?

Yes, foster children who are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court, are eligible for free meals. Any foster child in the household is eligible for free meals regardless of income.

4. Can homeless, runaway and migrant children get free meals?

Yes, children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant qualify for free meals. For more information on a child’s eligibility, contact:

Kristin Randhare
[email protected]
(845)460-6600 ext. 6629

5. Who can get reduced price meals?

Children can receive low cost meals if the household income is within the reduced price limits on the Federal Eligibility Income Chart shown on the application.

6. Is it still necessary to complete an application if the district sent a letter this school year saying children in this household are approved for free meals?

Please read the letter carefully and follow the instructions. Call Food Services at (845)460-6200 ext 6248 for more information.

7. My child’s application was approved last year. Is it necessary to apply again?

Yes. Each application is good only for that school year and for the first 30 days of the next school year. A new application must be sent in unless the school sent notification that the child is eligible for the new school year.

8. Can child(ren) whose families participate in WIC get free meals?

Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Fill out a Free Reduced Price Meal application.

9. Will the information on the application be checked?

Yes. Written proof may be requested.

10. Is it possible to apply again if an application is not approved?

Yes. Applications are accepted at any time during the school year. For example, if a parent or guardian becomes unemployed, children may then be eligible for free or reduced price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.

11. Is there an appeals process if the district denies an application?

Contact school officials. A hearing can be requested by calling or writing to:

Patrick F. Cahill
Assistant Superintendent for Business and Management Services
Monroe-Woodbury Central School District
278 Route 32
Central Valley, NY 10917
(845)460-6200 ext 6241

12. Are applications accepted if someone in the household is not a U.S. citizen?

Yes. Parents and child(ren) do not have to be U.S. citizens to qualify for free or reduced price meals.

13. Who is considered a member of the household?

All people living in a household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends) who share income and expenses must be included. Parents/guardians and all children living in the household must be included.

If other people in the household are economically independent (for example, people who are not supported by the parent/guardian, who do not share income with the household, and who pay a pro-rated share of expenses), do not include them.

14. What if household income is not always the same?

List the usual amount received. For example, if a person normally makes $1000 each month, but missed some work last month and only made $900, put down the normal amount of $1000 per month. If it is normal to be paid overtime, include it, but do not include it if overtime is only worked sometimes. If a job has been lost or hours or wages have been reduced, use the current income.

15. Are people in the military required to include the housing allowance as income?

An off-base housing allowance must be included as income. However, if housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include the housing allowance as income.

16. If a spouse is deployed in a combat zone, is combat pay counted as income?

No. If the combat pay is received in addition to basic pay because of a deployment and it wasn’t received before the deployment, combat pay is not counted as income. Contact the school district for more information.

17. If a household needs more help, are there other programs available?

To find out how to apply for SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact the local assistance office or call 1-800-342-3009.