(Washington, DC) -- The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education announces the criteria for determining the eligibility of children for free and reduced price meals and for free milk for institutions sponsoring the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Special Milk Program (SMP).
For institutions sponsoring the CACFP: The same meals will be available at no separate charge to all participants at each CACFP facility without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual rientation, or marital and family status. Any complaints of discrimination should be submitted to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20250; or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD) or contact the Government of the District of Columbia's Office of Human Rights at (202) 727-3545.
For schools participating in the NSLP and SMP: A letter or notice and family application form are distributed to parents of all children in attendance at school, at the beginning of each school year. The letter or notice must contain the following information:
- The eligibility criteria for either free or reduced priced meal benefits and for free milk benefits
- How a household may complete an application for free or reduced price meals or for free milk for its children
- An explanation that an application for free or reduced price benefits cannot be approved unless it is completed in its entirety
- An explanation that households with children who are members of currently certified food stamp or TANF households may submit applications with abbreviated information
- An explanation that the information on the application may be verified at any time during the school year
- How a household may apply for benefits at any time during the school year as circumstances change
- A statement that children having parents or guardians who become unemployed are eligible for free or reduced price meals or for free milk, provided that the income is within the eligibility criteria
- A statement that in certain cases foster children are eligible for free or reduced price meals or free milk regardless of the household income
- A statement that "In the operation of child feeding programs, no child will be discriminated against because of race, sex, color, national origin, age or disability political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital and family status." Any complaints of discrimination should be submitted to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20250; or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD) or contact the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR) at (202) 727-3545
- How a household may appeal the decision of the School Food Authority under the appeal procedures by making a request to the school official