M-Dade schools release free and reduced meal policies

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 0 Comments

In Miami-Dade County, meal application brochures are sent to all households for public school students’ eligibility for free or reduced meal costs. To apply for free or reduced-priced lunch, parents or guardians are encouraged to apply electronically by accessing http://nutrition.dadeschools.net. 

Households may complete a paper application and return it to the school where their youngest child attends. Complete only one application per household. Applications are available at the main office of each school in Spanish, English and Creole. The information provided on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.  

Household size and income criteria will be used to determine eligibility. Income eligibility guidelines are available online through the MDCPS website. Households that receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) are required to list the current case number and the adult household member must sign the application.

Foster children will receive free meal benefits regardless of the child’s personal income or the income of the household where they reside and may be included as a member of the foster family if the foster family chooses to also apply for benefits. If the foster family is not eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, it does not prevent a foster child from receiving free meal benefits.

For the purpose of determining household size, deployed service members are considered a part of the household. Families should include the names of the deployed service members on their application. Report only that portion of the deployed service member’s income made available to them or on their behalf to the family. Additionally, a housing allowance that is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative is not to be included as income.

Students may prepay for lunch online at www.PayPams.com, or in the school cafeteria with a check or cash. Information on PayPams will be sent home along with the meal application brochures. Breakfast is served to students in all Miami Dade County Public Schools daily at no charge.  Elementary school lunch is $2.25. Middle and high school lunch is $2.50.  Reduced-price lunch costs 40 cents. Each school must have a plan for providing lunch to students without lunch money.

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