Free and Reduced Lunch FAQ
Please read the following questions about the Oak Harbor Public Schools Free and Reduced Lunch program. If your questions are not answered, please call or email Nancy Alvarado at 360.279.5015. Applications for the 2019-20 school year are now available through Skyward Family Access.
Who should fill out an application?
Fill out the application if:
• Total household income is the SAME or LESS than the amount on the chart
• You receive Basic Food, take part in the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for your children
• You are applying for foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court
Turn in the application to your child’s school office or the district office. Be sure to submit ONLY ONE application per household. We will notify you if the application is approved or denied. If any child you are applying for is homeless (McKinney-Vento), or migrant, check the appropriate box.
What counts as income? Who is considered a member of my household?
Look at the income chart below. Find your household size. Find your total household income. If members in the household are paid at different times during the month and you are unsure if your household is eligible, fill out an application and we will determine your income eligibility for you. The information you give will be used to determine your child's eligibility for free or reduced-price meals. Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals regardless of personal use income. If you have questions about applying for meal benefits for foster children, please contact us at 360-279-5015.
USDA Child Nutrition Program Income Guidelines
Effective July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021
Twice Per Month
Every Two Weeks
For each add’l family member, add:
Household is defined as all persons, including parents, children, grandparents, and all people related or unrelated who live in your home and share living expenses. If applying for a household with a foster child, you may include the foster child in the total household size. Household Income is considered to be the income each household member received before taxes. This includes wages, social security, pension, unemployment, welfare, child support, alimony, and any other cash income. If including a foster child as part of the household, you must also include the foster child’s personal income. Do not report foster payments as income.
What if I’m not receiving basic food dollars?
If you have been approved for Basic Food but do not actually receive Basic Food dollars, you may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. You must apply for meal benefits by filling out a meal application and returning it to your child’s school.
Do my children automatically qualify if they have a case number?
Yes. Children on TANF or Basic Food may get free meals and children receiving some Medicaid benefits may be eligible for free or reduced price meals without the household having to complete an application. These children are identified by the school using a data matching process. This matched list is then made available to your child’s school food service staff. The students on this list get free meals if their schools have the free and reduced-price breakfast and/or lunch program (not all schools do). Please contact us immediately if you feel your children should be receiving free meals and are not. If you do not want your child to participate in the free meal programs using this method, please notify the school.
If anyone in my household has a case number, will all children qualify for free meals?
Yes. If someone else in the household has a case number, other than a foster child, you must fill out an application and send it to your student’s school. Please contact us immediately if you feel other children in your household should be receiving free meals and are not.
Basic Food- Can I qualify for assistance in buying food?
Basic Food is the state’s food stamp program. It helps households make ends meet by providing monthly benefits to buy food. Getting Basic Food is easy! You can apply in person at the local DSHS Community Service Office, by mail, or online. There are other benefits too. You can learn about Basic Food by calling 1-877-501-2233 or by logging on to http://www.foodhelp.wa.gov/basic_food.htm.
We are in the military. Do we report our income differently?
Your basic pay and cash bonuses must be reported as income. If you get any cash value allowances for off-base housing, food, or clothing, it must also be included as income. However, if your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income. Any additional combat pay resulting from deployment is also excluded from income.
My child’s application was approved last year. Do I need to fill out a new one?
Yes. 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.
What if some household members have no income to report?
Household members may not receive some types of income we ask you to report on the application, or may not receive income at all. Whenever this happens, please write a 0 in the field. However, if any income fields are left empty or blank, those will also be counted as zeroes. Please be careful when leaving income fields blank, as we will assume you meant to do so.
To inquire about or apply for health care coverage for kids in your family, please visit http://www.wahealthplanfinder.org or you may call Washington Health Plan Finder at 1-855-923-4633.
What if my child needs special foods?
If your child needs special foods, contact the school/district food service office.
Proof of Eligibility
The information you provide may be verified at any time. You may be asked to send additional information to prove your child is eligible to receive free and reduced-price meals.
If you do not agree with the decision on your child's application or the process used to prove income eligibility, you may talk with Vicki Williams, the fair hearing official. You have the right to a fair hearing which may be arranged by calling the school/school district at this number 360-279-5009.
You may apply for benefits any time during the school year. If you should have a decrease in household income, an increase in household size, or become unemployed, or receive Basic Food, TANF, or FDPIR, you may be eligible for benefits and may fill out an application at that time.