Frequently Asked Questions About Free and Reduced Price School Meals
For full instructors on applying for free and reduced lunch, click here.
For technical assistance or questions on payments, please contact PayForIt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-572-6642 between 8:30 am to 7:30 pm Monday through Friday.
For assistance on the Free and Reduced Lunch digital application, please contact email@example.com or call 800-669-0792 (press 3 for software support) between 8:30 AM - 7:30 PM Monday through Friday.
Children need healthy meals to learn. Mahoning County Career & Technical Center offers healthy meals every school day. Breakfast costs $1.00 for all grades; $2.88 for High School Students & Stem Students. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Reduced price is $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch. This packet includes an application for free or reduced price meal benefits, and a set of detailed instructions. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process. Please fill out the form completely and sign even if you are not sure if you will qualify!
1. WHO CAN GET FREE OR REDUCED PRICE MEALS?
- All children in households receiving benefits from the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) or Ohio Works First (OWF) are eligible for free meals.
- Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals.
- Children participating in their school's Head Start program are eligible for free meals.
- Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.
- Children may receive free or reduced price meals if your household's income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Your children may qualify for free or reduced price meals if your household income falls at or below the limits on this chart.
FEDERAL ELIGIBILITY INCOME CHART For School Year 2017-2018
|Each additional person:||$7,733||$645||$149|
2. HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILDREN QUALIFY AS HOMELESS, MIGRANT, OR RUNAWAY?
Do the members of your household lack a permanent address? Are you staying together in a shelter, hotel, or temporary housing arrangement? Does your family relocate on a seasonal basis? Are any children living with you who have chosen to leave their prior family or household? If you believe children in their household meet these descriptions and haven't been told your children will get free meals, please call or e-mail your student's school.
3. DO I NEED TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION FOR EACH CHILD?
No. Use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals digital Application on our website via PaySchools link for all MCCTC students in your household.
4. SHOULD I FILL OUT AN APPLICATION IF I RECEIVED A LETTER THIS SCHOOL YEAR SAYING MY CHILDREN ARE ALREADY APPROVED FOR FREE MEALS?
No, but please read the letter you got carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household were missing from your eligibility notification, contact your child's home school immediately.
5. CAN I APPLY ONLINE?
Yes. Please go click on the PaySchools link to apply for free meals.
6. 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, through September 15, 2017. You must submit a new application online through our website unless you recieved a letter from the school which told you that your child is eligible for hte new school year. If you do not submit a new application that is approved by the school or you have not been notified that your child is eligible for free meals, your child will be charged the full price for meals.
7. I GET WIC. CAN MY CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS?
Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please submit an application through our website.
8. WILL THE INFORMATION I GIVE BE CHECKED?
Yes. We may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report.
9. IF I DON'T QUALIFY NOW, MAY I APPLY LATER?
Yes, you may apply at any time during the school year. For example, children with a parent or guardian who becomes unemployed may become eligible for free and reduced price meals if hte household income drops below the income limit.
10. WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE SCHOOL'S DECISION ABOUT MY APPLICATION?
You should talk to school officials. You may also ask for a hearing by calling or writing to: JOHN ZEHENTBAUER (ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT).
11. MAY I APPLY IF SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD IS NOT A U.S. CITIZEN?
Yes. You, your children, or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply for free or reduced price meals.
12. WHAT IF MY INCOME IS NOT ALWAYS THE SAME?
List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes. If you have lost a job or had your house or wages reduced, use your current income.
13. 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 digital application, or may not receive income at all. Whenever this happens, please indicate 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.
14. 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 in your 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.
15. WHAT IF THERE ISN'T ENOUGH SPACE ON THE APPLICATION FOR MY FAMILY?
Contact PayForIt Customer Service (Operated by PaySchools) at firstname.lastname@example.org - You can also call 800-572-6642 between 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday.
16. WHY AM I BEING ASKED ABOUT GIVING MY CONSENT ON AN INSTRUCTIONAL FEE WAIVER?
Ohio public schools are required to waive the school instructional fees for children who qualify for free meal benefits. School Food Service personnel must have parent consent to share student meal application if your child(ren) qualify for a fee waiver. If you agree to allow your child(ren)'s meal application to be shared with school officials to see if he/she/they qualifies for a fee waiver then check "yes" in part 5. If you do not wish for that information to be shared, then check "no" in part 5. Answering no to this question will mean your child will not be able to be considered for a fee waiver. Answering this question either way will not change whether your child(ren) will get free or reduced price meals.
17. MY FAMILY NEEDS MORE HELP. ARE THERE OTHER PROGRAMS WE MIGHT APPLY FOR?
To find out how to apply for Ohio SNAP or other assitance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 977-852-0010.
Privacy Act Statement: This explains how we will use the information you give us.
The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information on this application. You do not have to give the information, but if you do not, we cannot approve your child for free or reduced price meals. You must include the last four digits of the social security number of the adult household member who signs the application. The last four digits of the social security number is not required when you apply on behalf of a foster child or you list a Supplimental NUtrition Assitance Program (SNAP), Ohio Works First (OWF) case number or other identifier for your child or when you indicate that the adult household member signing the application does not have a social security number. We will use your information to determine if your hilc is eligible for free or reduced price meals, and for administration and enforcement of the lunch and breakfast programs. We MAY share your eligibility information with education, health, and nutrition programs to help them evalueate, fund, or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews, and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules.
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://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:
mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
fax: (202)690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity providor.