Dysart to Provide Free Meals for Children Throughout 21-22 School Year
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 7/29/2021
Dysart Unified School District will be offering healthy meals to all students at no cost every school day in the 2021-2022 school year as part of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program. All child(ren) will receive free breakfast and lunch meals every school day regardless of household’s income. Curbside service is also available for community members 18 and under, Monday - Friday between 11 - 11:30am at the following sites: Dysart High School, 11425 N. Dysart Rd., El Mirage, AZ 85335; Valley Vista High School (Served in The Vista Center for the Arts parking lot), 15550 N. Parkview Place, Surprise, AZ 85374; and Willow Canyon High School, 17901 W. Lundberg St., Surprise, AZ 85388.
We encourage all families to apply for free or reduced meals even though all students receive free meals this school year. Qualifications for children to receive free or reduced price meal eligibility include: belonging to a household whose income is at or below the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines, belonging to a household that receives public assistance, or if the child is homeless, migrant, runaway, foster, or participates in a Head Start or Even Start pre-Kindergarten program.
Household size and income criteria are used to determine eligibility for free and reduced-price benefits if the household does not receive assistance or the children are not in the other categories mentioned above. Children can get free or reduced-price meals if the household’s gross income falls at or below the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guideline chart: www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/income-eligibility-guidelines
To apply for free or reduced-price meals we highly recommend using SchoolCafe at www.schoolcafe.com. Paper applications are available in each school office and can be returned to the school once completed unless the household has already received notification that their children are approved for free meals this year. Applications include a letter informing households of the availability of free and reduced-price meals for their children and what is required to complete on the application.
Only one application is required for all children in the household and the information provided on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and verification of data. Applications may be verified at any time during the school year by the school or other program officials. An application for free or reduced-price benefits cannot be approved unless it contains complete eligibility information as indicated on the application and instructions. In the operation of child feeding programs, no child will be discriminated against because of race, sex, color, national origin, age, or disability.
Families can apply for benefits at any time. If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household's income falls at or below the Federal Guidelines. Contact Claudia Zamora at any time to request an application.
Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price policy, Nutrition Liaison will review applications and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either orally or in writing to: Kenneth Hicks, 13825 W Desert Cove Rd., Surprise, AZ 85379.
When known to Dysart District households will be notified of their children’s eligibility for free meals if they are members of households receiving assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR); or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), if the State program meets Federal standards.
An application is not required for free meal benefits for Assistance Program participants and all of the children in the household are eligible for free meal benefits. If any children were not listed on the notice of eligibility, or if a household does not receive a notice of eligibility, the household should contact the school to have free meal benefits extended to them. Participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals, but they will need to turn in an application including household size and total income.
When known to Dysart Unified households will also be notified of any child’s eligibility for free meals if the individual child is considered “Other Source Categorically Eligible”, because the child is categorized, as defined by law as: Foster, Homeless, Migrant, Runaway, Enrolled in an eligible Head Start, or an eligible pre-kindergarten class.
If any children were not listed on the notice of eligibility, the household should contact the school about their eligibility through the list above, or should submit an income application.
Households notified of their children’s eligibility must contact the school if the household chooses to decline the free meal benefits. For more information, you may call Claudia Zamora at 623-876-7989 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information requested in order to verify your children’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meals. If you do not provide the information or provide incomplete information, your children may no longer receive free or reduced-price meals.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: email@example.com.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.