The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District recently announced a free and reduced price meal policy for the Bellmore and Merrick area school children.
SNAP/TANF/FDPIR Households: Households which currently include children who receive SNAP or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) must complete an application listing the child's name, a food stamp, TANF, or FDPIR case number and the signature of an adult household member, or provide a Eligibility letter from the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Children in the household with the same case number may be included on the same application. Separate applications are required for children in the same household with different case numbers. If the family does not list a food stamp, TANF, or FDPIR case number for all children or whom they are applying, then the application must contain all the information as required for “other households” as described below.
Other Households: Households with incomes the same or below the amount of money listed above for their family size may be eligible for and are urged to apply for free and/or reduced price meals (or free milk). They may do so by filling in the application forms sent home with a letter to parents. Additional copies are available at the principal's office in each school. Applications may be submitted any time during the school year to Nancy Muth, Director of Cafeteria Services, 1260 Meadowbrook Rd, N. Merrick, NY 11566.
The information provided on the application will be confidential and will be used for determining eligibility. The names and eligibility status of participants may also be used for the allocation of funds to federal education programs such as Title I and National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), State health or State education programs, provided the State agency or local education agency administers the programs, and for federal, State or local means-tested nutrition programs with eligibility standards comparable to the NSLP. Eligibility information may also be released to programs authorized under the National School Lunch Act (NSLA) or the Child Nutrition Act (CNA). The release of information to any program or entity not specifically authorized by the NSLA will require a written consent statement from the parent or guardian.
The school district does, however, have the right to verify at any time during the school year the information on the application. If a parent does not give the school this information, the child/children will no longer be able to receive free or reduced price meals (free milk).
Foster children may also be eligible for these benefits. A separate application for a foster child is no longer necessary. Foster children may be listed on the family application which must contain the foster child's name, personal use income.
Under the provisions of the policy, the designated official will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent is dissatisfied with the ruling of the designated official, he/she may make a request either orally or in writing for a hearing to appeal the decision. Mr. John DeTommaso, Superintendent, whose address is 1260 Meadowbrook Rd, N. Merrick, NY 11566 has been designated as the Hearing Official. Hearing procedures are outlined in the policy. However, prior to initiating the hearing procedure, the parent or School Food Authority may request a conference to provide an opportunity for the parent and official to discuss the situation, present information, and obtain an explanation of the data submitted in the application or the decisions rendered. The request for a conference shall not in any way prejudice or diminish the right to a fair hearing.