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Free & Reduced Meals FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Free And Reduced Price School Meals

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Children need healthy meals to learn. The Mahoning County Career & Technical Center offers healthy meals each school day. Breakfast costs $1.50 lunch costs $2.90. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced-price meals. Reduced price is $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process.

Who can receive free or reduced-price meals?

All children in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Ohio Works First (OWF); foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court; children participating in their school’s Head Start program; and children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals. Your children may receive free or reduced-price meals if your household’s income is within the limits.

How do I know if my children qualify as homeless, migrant or runaway?

If members of your household lack a permanent address; are staying together in a shelter, hotel or other temporary housing arrangement; relocate on a seasonal basis or; children live with you who have chosen to leave their prior or family or household then the children may qualify as homeless, migrant or runaway. If you have not been told your children will receive free meals, please call or email Chris Stewart at: 330-729-4000 ext. 1181 to see if they qualify.

Do I need to fill out an application for each child?

If your child attends MCCTC, please list all children that live in your household even though they attend another school. We cannot approve an application that is not complete. You will also need to apply for Free and Reduced Price School Meals for your non-MCCTC children at their home school in which they attend.

Should I complete an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are approved already for free meals?

No, if the letter is from MCCTC. Please read the letter carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household were missing from the eligibility notification who attend MCCTC, please contact Valerie Lemme, 330-729-4000 ext. 1182 immediately.

Can I apply online?

Yes. You are encouraged to complete an online application that provides instant determination instead of a paper application if possible. The online application has the same requirements and will request the same information as the paper application. Please visit and click on our Free & Reduced online application link to apply or learn more about the online application process.

My child’s application was approved last year. Do I need to complete another application?

Yes. Your child’s application is valid for that school year and for the first few days of this school year. You are required to submit a new application unless the school notified you that your child is eligible for the new school year.

I receive Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits. Can my child(ren) get free meals?

Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Please submit a completed application.

Will the information I give be checked?

Yes, we may also ask you to send written proof.

If I do not 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 the household income drops below the income limit.

What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application?

You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to the following contact person: RALPH SANDY, or 330-729-4000 EXT. 1203.

May I apply if someone else in my household is not a U.S. citizen?

Yes. You or your child(ren) members do not have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

What if my income is not always the same?

List the GROSS AMOUNT that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1,000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, submit the report with the routine amount of $1,000 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 hours or wages reduced, use your current income.

What if some household members have no income to report?

Household members may not receive some types of income that are asked for you to report on the application or may not receive income at all. When this happens, please write a 0 in the field. However, if any income fields are left empty or blank, those also will be counted as zeroes. Please be careful when leaving income fields blank.

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 also must 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.

What if there is not enough space on the application for my entire family?

List any additional household members on a separate piece of paper and attach it to your application. Contact Valerie Lemme at 330-729-4000 ext. 1182.

Why am I being asked to give my consent for an instructional fee waiver?

Ohio public schools are required to waive the school instructional fees for children who quality for free meal benefits. School food service personnel must have parent consent to share the student meal application if your child(ren) quality for a fee waiver. If you agree to allow your child(ren)’s meal application to be shared with school officials to see if they qualify for a fee waiver then select yes in part 5. If you do not wish for that information to be shared, then select no in part 5. Answering no to this question will mean your child will not be considered for a fee waiver. Answering this question either way will not change your child(ren)’s free or reduced-price meal eligibility.

My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for?

To find out how to apply for Ohio SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 877-852-0010.

If you have other questions or need help, call 330-729-4000

Si necesita ayuda, por favor llame al teléfono: 330-729-4000

Si vous voudriez d’aide, contactez nous au numero: 330-729-4000

Mahoning County Career & Technical Center

7300 North Palmyra Rd., Canfield, OH 44406

MCCTC - 330-729-4000 • Adult Division - 330-729-4100

The MCCTC offers a group of passionate professionals ready to help you begin your career. Since 1972, MCCTC has provided thousands of students with the education to lead a successful career and life. Once enrolled in one of our diverse programs, your options and potential are limitless.

The Mahoning County Career and Technical Center offers adults an opportunity to start or advance in a career. MCCTC Adult Career Center offers Industry Credential Programs, professional development classes and other courses to put you on the right track.

Governing Board Members

  • Mr. Michael Stanko, President
  • Mrs. Marie Dockry, Vice-president
  • Mr. Ronald Shives, Board Member
  • Attorney David Engler, Board Member
  • Mr. Richard S. Scarsella, Board Member
  • Ms. Beth Donofrio, Board Member
  • Attorney Kathi McNabb-Welsh, Board Member

Additional Board Information

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