Schools across Indiana are gearing up to welcome students back for a new academic year, with some already in session. As students return to school, it also means it’s time for school meals to begin again.
Just in time, the Indiana Department of Education has released new statewide guidelines for free and reduced price school meals.
Families who use food stamps, have a child in a Head Start program, have foster children or have a child enrolled in the Migrant Education Program are automatically eleigible for the program.
Families who meet federal income requirements are also eligible for free or reduced lunch. A family of four making an annual income of under $45,000 would be eligible.
According to the department, all families will be provided with forms:
Application forms are being provided to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced-price benefits, households must complete the application as soon as possible, sign it, and return it to the school.
School lunch has not been without its controversy this year.
As we’ve reported earlier, U.S. Congressman Todd Rokita, R-Indiana, proposed legislation this May that would ease nutrition standards for a federal school lunch program and impose tighter restrictions for schools to offer free meals schoolwide.
Rokita says funds saved from reducing the number of federal school-wide lunch programs could be used for breakfast or summer meal programs instead.