Free lunch for all students enrolled at Culpeper County Public Schools is coming to an end.
Public schools nationwide, including in Culpeper, implemented free breakfast and lunch for all students during the COVID-19 pandemic and availability of federal funds.
For the coming academic year, households will have to once again prove income eligibility, the school division said in announcing its 2022-23 policy for providing free or reduced price meals.
There is one exception. Students attending Farmington, Pearl Sample and Sycamore Park elementary schools will be provided a nutritious meal for breakfast and lunch each day at no charge, the division said in a statement.
These schools are participating in the Community Eligibility Provision as implemented under the federally funded Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
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In all other Culpeper public schools, household size and income will be used to determine eligibility for free or reduced price meal benefits, according to the school division. Children from households whose income is at or below the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines may be eligible.
Children whose households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamp or WIC benefits or who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare payments may be automatically eligible for free meals.
Children who are homeless, migrant or runaway may also be automatically eligible for free meals. Foster children, who are the legal responsibility of a welfare agency or court, are also eligible for free meals regardless of the household income.
Applications for free or reduced school meals are at culpeperschools.org/home and in the principal’s office in each school and at the central office.
To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households must fill out one application on–line per household and submit it to the school division at any time during the school year. The information households will be used for determining eligibility and verification of data. Applications may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials, according to the CCPS release.
For school officials to determine eligibility for free or reduced price benefits, households receiving SNAP or TANF list their child or children’s name and SNAP or TANF case number with an adult signature.
Households that do not list a case number, including WIC households, must list the names of all household members, the amount and frequency of income and the last four digits of the social security number of the adult who signs the application.
If the household member does not have a social security number, they indicate a social security number is not available.
Under the provisions of the free and reduced price meal policy, the CCPS Food Service Department will review applications and determine eligibility.
An application for free or reduced price meals cannot be approved unless it is complete. Households dissatisfied with the ruling of the eligibility determining official may wish to discuss the decision with the official on an informal basis.
Households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either verbally or in writing to: Dr. Anthony S. Brads, 471 James Madison Highway, Suite 201, Culpeper, VA 22701 or 540-825-3677
To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form at online, 866/632-9992, or by mail to: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410.
Culpeper Human Services continues to provide free breakfast and lunch for all local youth Monday-Friday through Aug. 5 outside the Galbreath-Marshall Head Start school and in Yowell Meadow Park’s pavilion. Breakfast is served from 8 to 9 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.