Home » Board of Education » District Policies » 8520, Free and Reduced Price Food Services

8520, Free and Reduced Price Food Services

The Board of Education recognizes that the nutrition of the district students is an important factor in their educational progress. The Board therefore shall participate in the federally funded school lunch and breakfast programs, and shall provide free/reduced price meals services to qualified district students, as defined under the rules and regulation of the United States Department of Agriculture and the State Education Department.

Availability, Application and Notification

Notice of the availability of the free/reduced price meal programs will be sent to the homes of the students, local media, the local unemployment office and large employers experiencing layoffs in the area from which the district draws its attendance. Any child who is a living in a family unit whose income is below the federally established scale shall be eligible to receive such services.

To apply for the free/reduced price meal program:

a. Application forms will be mailed to each family registered in the district in late August. These forms will also be available in each school’s main office and on the North Colonie website on the Food and Nutrition Services page. These forms may be completed and submitted at any time during the school year. (translated forms are available upon request).

b. Completed forms must be submitted to the Director of Food Services, either in person at the school that the student attends or by mail, prior to any determination of eligibility.

c. The parent/guardian will be informed of the determination within one week of receiving a properly completed application.

Applications will be kept strictly confidential.

Upon written request, the Assistant Superintendent of Business will hear appeals of determinations regarding such services in compliance with federal regulations governing the National School Lunch Program.

In addition, in order to reach students that are categorically eligible for free (or reduced price) meals and to comply with state law, three times per school year Director of Food Services will review the list made available by the State Education Department of children ages three to eighteen who are in households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid benefits (for certain recipients), or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to identify students within the district. The district will send a notice to those families apprising them of their student’s eligibility to participate in the school meal programs without further application. Parents may decline participation by informing the district in writing. If the service is declined, the student will be removed from the eligibility list.

In accordance with federal regulations, foster, migrant, runaway, homeless and Head Start children are categorically eligible for free meals. The parent/guardian or child (as appropriate) will be notified of their eligibility for free meals within one week of being notified of their categorical status. (In all cases the benefits begin immediately upon the determination of eligibility, regardless of notification.)

The North Colonie School District Administration in conjunction with the Director of Food Services will establish meal time procedures that both protect the anonymity of the student and allow for proper accounting.

Cross-ref: 8500, Food Service Management

National School Lunch Act of 1946, as amended, (42 U.S.C. §§ 1751-1760)
Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended, (42 UCS §§ 1771 et seq.)
7 CFR Part 245 (245.5, public announcement; 245.6, categorical eligibility and direct certification/verification.)
Social Services Law §95(7)

Adopted: August 15, 1983
Amended: July 6, 1992
Amended May 18, 1998
Amended: January 23, 2017