Update to USDA Rules SY 21/22

USDA is requiring all districts that participate in the federal meal programs to 'make available' either electronically or by paper copies, the Low Income Eligibility application for SY21/22.  We are complying with this regulation by leaving our online application portal active on our district webpage. We will not be distributing or accepting paper applications nor will we be requesting or encouraging families to complete the online application.  We are simply making the application available as required above.   

It is important to note that families DO NOT need to complete a meal application in order to receive free breakfast and/or free lunch SY21/22.  All enrolled students will automatically receive universal free breakfast and lunch without any household information being requested or collected. No application required to participate! 

If a family insists on completing a meal application they may do so in the online portal.  USDA requires all submitted applications to be processed and subject to income verification/audit. Breakfast and lunch will still be provided free of charge regardless of eligibility determined by submitted application. 

Reason USDA is requiring the low income eligibility application to be made available to families is for P-EBT (Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer) temporary emergency nutrition benefit purposes only.  The P-EBT funds are meant to provide emergency financial assistance to households that qualified for free or reduced priced meals but did not have access to school meals because their school closed and/or did not provide meal service due to COVID-19 anytime during SY20-21.  To date, none of the families in our school district have qualified for P-EBT funding. 

P-EBT funding is still available for SY21-22.

To be eligible to receive P-EBT benefits a family must meet the criteria below:

1. Attend a school that has closed for 5 or more consecutive school calendar days and did not provide low income eligible families access to school meals.    

2.  Received eligibility letter approving them for SNAP (Supplemental Assistance Program-Food Stamps), or TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/Financial) benefits, or Homeless eligible status prior to the 5 consecutive day school closure listed above.  

To ensure our low income families have the opportunity to participate in the P-EBT program if they become eligible, I will continue to report all 'Directly Certified' students who have been approved for SNAP & TANF benefits as well as all Homeless approved students to the State Department.  Families do not need to provide any information to me because I obtain it directly from Health and Welfare and our district's Homeless Liaison. 

If you have any questions, please call 208-267-3146 ext.8 

I have also sent out a welcome back letter to be sent home with every student. please print off the correct one for your school. Valley view, Middle school and High school have the same letter. Naples & Valley V have their own, due to being granted the fruit and veggie grant.