SY 2017-2018 - Do not distribute before July 1, 2016
Income Eligibility Guidelines
Optional Notification Letters
Special Milk Program (SMP)
Transfer and Carryover
Training Resources for Approval of Free and Reduced Price Meal Applications (Visual aids to assist SFAs in processing applications)
SY 2016-2017 - Do not distribute before July 1, 2016
All School Food Authorities (SFAs) are required to distribute a Public Release before the start of the school year. SFAs should send the public release to media and grassroots organizations. In addition, SFAs should send the release to major employers contemplating or experiencing large layoffs and local unemployment offices, as applicable. SFAs are not required to pay to have it published but must maintain documentation of whom the release was sent to along with the specific materials distributed. Note, the Public Release cannot be posted to the SFA's website and/or district handbook. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) web page contains Public Release templates for SFAs operating both District-wide and Mixed District CEP.
SFAs are required to distribute paper Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application packets to all households in the district on or about the beginning of the school year but not before July 1, 2016. The following documents must be included in the packet. Spanish, Hmong and Albanian versions are posted for SFAs to distribute as needed:
- Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application (Application with CEP language removed) (Spanish) (Hmong) (Albanian)
- Instructions/How to Apply (Spanish) (Hmong) (Albanian)
- Parent/Guardian Information Letter/Frequently Asked Questions (Spanish) (Hmong) (Albanian)
**Note: Visit the Direct Certification webpage to run Direct Certification for your school.
If the SFA uses a web based application, the web based vendor must be approved by DPI prior to distribution of the application to households. The approved vendor listing is updated annually. As a reminder, the application for the 2016-2017 school cannot be posted or distributed prior to July 1, 2016.
Income Eligibility Guidelines
The Income Eligibility Guidelines for School Year 2016-17 are for school staff only and are used in the processing of Free and Reduced-Price Meal Applications. SFAs utilizing a software system for approval of applications should confirm the system uses the current guidelines.
If the SFA exercises the option to provide the opportunity to waive or subsidize other district fees (e.g., registration, athletic fees, technology fees, etc.) based on a student’s free or reduced price meal benefit status, the SFA must provide the Sharing Information with Other Programs form to all recipients as determined through an application as well as Direct Certification. SFAs must allow households to limit consent to only those programs they wish to share information. SFAs are not allowed to have a blanket fee waiver. Additional benefits outside of the meal benefit cannot be provided until a signed form is returned to the SFA allowing the information to be shared.
Alternatively, SFAs can have parents/guardians self-disclose eligibility information by providing a copy of their application approval letter to the program offering fee waivers or subsidized fees. Another option is for fee waivers and subsidized fees to be handled outside of the food service department by an alternate data collection method.
For anyone receiving benefit information to approve students for non-food service program benefits, the following Disclosure Agreement form should be signed and on file at the district:
SFAs must notify all households of application denial in writing. Approved applications can be notified in writing, email or verbally; however, written communication is encouraged.
Optional Notification Letters
SFAs must modify the letters for school specific information and should delete the milk reference if not participating in the Special Milk Program (SMP) or WI School Day Milk Program (WSDMP).
SFAs should modify the meal benefit status in the Joint Custody letter to send to split, joint custody households when a student’s benefits have been determined from a paper application. Use the Direct Certification Approval Letter template for students determined through Direct Certification (DC).
SFAs can use this template to communicate student transfer and carryover status from Provision (CEP and P2) schools to Non-Provision schools
NSLP and Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)
For those SFAs operating as a Mixed District with the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), the Free and Reduced Price Meal Application above has been modified to collect information for students attending CEP schools and non-CEP schools. Student data for those attending CEP schools must be kept separate from those attending non-CEP schools. For those SFAs operating CEP District-Wide, please visit the CEP webpage for specific program information, including the DPI Alternate Household Income Form used for collecting income information for Title 1, SAGE (AGR), etc.
NSLP and the Special Milk Program (SMP)
For those SFAs operating the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Special Milk Program (SMP), the following should be included in the application packet:
Verification (visit the Verification web page for all verification resources)
SY 2015-2016 - Do not distribute before July 1, 2015
- Public Release
- Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application (English PDF) (Español) (Hmong) (Albanian) Agencies wishing to modify this application must obtain prior approval from the School Nutrition Team. If your district does not offer the ability for parents to complete an application online, prior approval is not required to remove the “Apply online” information on the top right of the application or point number 5 from the Frequently Asked Questions About Free and Reduced Price School Meals. - REQUIRED
- Instructions/How to Apply (Español) (Hmong) (Albanian) - REQUIRED
- Parent/Guardian Information Letter/Frequently Asked Questions (Español) (Hmong) (Albanian) - REQUIRED
- Sharing Information with Other Programs (Español) (Hmong) - REQUIRED IF SHARING INFORMATION
- Disclosure Agreement (to be signed by those receiving benefit information, as agreed to by the benefit recipient in the Sharing Information with Other Programs form) - REQUIRED IF SHARING INFORMATION
School Year 2015-16 Income Eligibility Guidelines (for school staff use only)
- Approval and Denial Communications
- Verification (please visit the verification webpage for all verification resources)
- Reimbursement Rates for School Year 2015-16
**If application materials are needed in languages other than those noted above, please visit the USDA FNS Translated Applications webpage or contact the DPI School Nutrition Team at 608-267-9228**
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