BOARD POLICY - 3553
National School Lunch Program and Breakfast Program regulations require that lunches be provided for needy students when family income is insufficient to provide the basic necessities, including food of the proper quality and amount for good nutrition.
Eligibility for free or reduced price meals shall be based on federal regulations as provided by the State Department of Education.
Parents shall be informed of the district policy concerning free or reduced price meals. A letter and application form shall be distributed to all parents at the beginning of each school year. The letter shall contain information on eligibility standards, application procedures and appeal procedures. This information and an application form shall be provided whenever a new student is enrolled.
Applications for free or reduced price meals shall be available to students at all times during the regular school day (Education Code 49557). Such applications must, by law, contain the following statements:
- APPLICATIONS FOR FREE AND REDUCED PRICE MEALS MAY BE SUBMITTED AT ANY TIME DURING A SCHOOL DAY.
- CHILDREN PARTICIPATING IN THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM WILL NOT BE OVERTLY IDENTIFIED BY THE USE OF SPECIAL TOKENS, SPECIAL TICKETS, SPECIAL SERVING LINES, SEPARATE ENTRANCES, SEPARATE DINING AREAS, OR BY ANY OTHER MEANS.
All applications and records related to eligibility for the free or reduced price meal program shall be confidential. As specified in Education Code 49558, such records shall only be open to examination for the purpose of disaggregating academic achievement data, and only student eligibility status may be shared. All other information such as family size, income, social security numbers, etc., shall remain confidential and shall not be shared for any purpose. Furthermore, no individual indicators of participation shall be maintained in the permanent record of any pupil not otherwise allowed by law. Data may be provided for this use only to the persons in the following positions: Coordinator of Evaluation, Research and Grants; Coordinator of Language Minority Programs, and Information Services Director.
A public news release containing information and eligibility standards for free or reduced price meals shall be made available to local news media early in the school year. Copies of this public release shall be made available upon request to any interested party. Subsequent changes in the district eligibility standards during the school year, which are approved by the state agency, shall also be announced publicly.
The Board of Education shall formulate a plan which ensures that children eligible for free or reduced price meals shall not be treated differently from other children. The plan shall be submitted to the State Department of Education for its approval.
The plan shall ensure that:
- The names of the children shall not be published, posted, or announced in any manner, or used for any other purpose other than those specified in Education Code 49558.
- There shall be no overt identification of any of the children by the use of special tokens or tickets or by any other means.
- The children shall not be required to work for their meals.
- The children shall not be required to use a separate dining area, go through a separate entrance, or consume their meals at a different time.
- When more than one lunch, breakfast or type of milk is offered, the children shall have the same choice of meals that is available to those children who pay the full price.
- All students will be encouraged to participate in the meal program(s) available at their school.
- Meals provided under these programs meet nutritional guidelines.
49490-49493 School breakfast and lunch programs
49500-49504 School meals for pupils (needy pupils)
49530-49536 Child Nutrition Act of 1974
49550-49556 Mandatory school district and county superintendent of schools meals for needy pupils in kindergarten and grades 1-2
49557 Free or reduced price meals
Administrative Code, Title 5
15510 et seq. Mandatory meals for needy pupils
15530 et seq. Nutrition education
15550 et seq. School lunch and breakfast programs
Policy Adopted: February 3, 1974
Policy Revised: February 2, 1999
Policy Revised: June 6, 2006