El Paso ISD transitions back to application requirement for free and reduced-price school meals
(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT – Aug. 5, 2022) –During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress authorized spending that allowed schools to serve free meals for all students. Those funds are not authorized to continue for the 2022-2023 school year. As a result, El Paso ISD Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) must return to charging for school meals and offering free and reduced-price meals based on student eligibility.
Starting in July, EPISD families are encouraged to complete the Application for Free and Reduced-Price School Meals, also available at www.episd.org/Page/12223 and return the completed form online or to school cafeteria manager. Students enrolled in (Community Eligibility Provision) CEP campuses will not need to apply for meal benefits. Students enrolled in CEP campuses can eat breakfast and lunch at no cost. For the list of CEP non-CEP campuses, please see the Food and Nutrition Services web page.
The application will determine a child’s eligibility for free and reduced-price meals and may assist in the determination of eligibility for other state or federal benefits. Only one application needs to be completed per household. FNS will notify the household of the child’s eligibility. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) administers school nutrition programs in Texas and offers an eligibility calculator at www.SquareMeals.org/ProgramEligibility.
Decisions regarding payment for school meals are made at the national-government level, not by the school nutrition team or TDA.
Criteria for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits
The following criteria will be used to determine a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meal benefits:
- Household income that is at or below the income eligibility levels
Categorical or Automatic Eligibility
- Household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
Program Participant Eligibility
- Child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant, or displaced by a declared disaster
- Child’s enrollment in Head Start or Even Start
For those households that qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on income, an adult in the household must fill out free and reduced-price meal application and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Those individuals filling out the application will need to provide the following information:
- Names of all household members
- Amount, frequency, and source of current income for each household member
- Last 4 digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application or, if the adult does not have a social security number, check the box for
“No Social Security number”
- Signature of an adult household member attesting that the information provided is correct
Applications may be submitted anytime during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility. Applications may also be verified by the school officials at any time during the school year.
In the operation of child feeding programs, no child will be discriminated against because of race, sex, color, national origin, age, or disability. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.