Letter to Parents 2021-2022

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Children need healthy meals to learn, which is why Quincy Public Schools offer healthy meals every school day.  For School Year 2021-2022, all meals are free of charge for both breakfast and lunch, due to the Covid-19 emergency waiver. However, we do encourage students to apply, as there are further benefits that come with meal eligibility, including P-EBT benefits, prep exam and college application waivers, and other financial waivers.

This packet includes an application for free or reduced price meal benefits, and a set of detailed instructions.  Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process.   

 Please Note:

If you have received a “Direct Certification” letter this school year saying that your child(ren) are approved for free meals then you do not need to complete an
application. If you received a Direct Certification for one but not all of your household’s school age children, or if you have questions, please call the Food Service Department at 617-984-8768. If this is a toll call, you may request to reverse the charges.

If you did not receive a “Direct Certification” letter, then you will need to submit a Free and Reduced Price School Meal Application either online or via paper application form. Application forms are available here. You may also apply online by going to the website: www.heartlandapps.com and selecting the Quincy Public Schools. The online application process is fast, safe, secure, and private. You may submit a paper application if you prefer.

1. MY CHILD’S APPLICATION WAS APPROVED LAST YEAR. DO I NEED TO FILL OUT A NEW ONE?

Yes. Your child’s application is only good for that school year and
for the first few days of this school year. You must send in a new application unless you have received a” Direct Certification” letter indicating that your child is
eligible for the new school year.

2. DO I NEED TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION FOR EACH CHILD?

NO, submit only one application per household, even if your children attend more than one
school in Quincy. The application must be filled out completely. We cannot approve an application that is not complete. Your completed application may be returned to any one of your children’s schools or mailed to:

Quincy Public Schools, Food Service Department, 316 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA 02171

 

3. WHO CAN GET FREE OR REDUCED PRICE MEALS?

  • a. All children in households receiving benefits from MA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Transitional Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) get free meals regardless of your income.
  • b. Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway or migrant are eligible for free meals.
  • c. Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals.
  • d. Children may receive free or reduced meals if your household’s gross income is within the limits of the Federal Income Guidelines. Your children may qualify for free or reduced price meals if your household income falls at or below the limits on this chart.

  • Federal Eligibility Income Chart Year 2021-2022
    House Hold Income Year Month Twice per Month Every Two Weeks Week
    1 $23,828  $1,986  $993 $917 $459
    2 $32,227 $2,686 $1,343 $1,240 $620
    3 $40,626 $3,386 $1,693 $1,563 $782
    4 $49,025 $4,086 $2,043 $1,886 $943
    5 $57,424 $4,786 $2,393 $2,209 $1,105 
    6 $65,823 $5,486 $2,743 $2,532 $1,266
    7 $74,222 $6,186 $3,093 $2,855 $1,428
    8 $82,621 $6,886 $3,443 $3,178 $1,589
    Each Additional family member $8,399+ $700+ $350+ $324+ $162+

     

    4. HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILDREN QUALIFY AS HOMELESS, MIGRANT, OR RUNAWAY?

    Do the members of your household lack a permanent address? Are you staying together in a shelter, hotel, or other temporary housing arrangement? Does your family relocate on a seasonal basis? Are any children living with you who have chosen to leave their prior family or household? If you believe children in your household meet these descriptions and haven’t been told your children will get
    free meals, please contact the Quincy Public Schools homeless liaison, Leslie Bridson at 617-376-1197 or by email at lesliebridson@quincypublicschools.com

    5. I GET WIC. CAN MY CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS?

    Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please complete and send in an
    application.

    6. WILL THE INFORMATION I GIVE BE CHECKED?

    Yes, we may ask for written proof of the household income you submit.

    7. IF I DON’T QUALIFY NOW, MAY I APPLY LATER?

    Yes. You may apply at any time during the school year.

    8. WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE SCHOOL’S DECISION ABOUT MY APPLICATION?

    Contact the Food Service Office at 617 984-8768 to discuss your application.  You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to:

    James E. Mullaney, Director of Business Affairs, 34 Coddington Street, Quincy, MA 02169, 617-984-8771.

     

    9. MAY I APPLY IF SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD IS NOT A U.S. CITIZEN?

    Yes. You or your child(ren) do not have to be a U.S. citizen to apply for free or reduced price school meals.

    10. WHO SHOULD I INCLUDE AS MEMBERS OF MY HOUSEHOLD?

    You must include all people living in your household, related or not (such as relatives, or friends) who
    share income and expenses. Include yourself and all children who live with you. If you live with other people who are economically independent (for example, people who you do not support, who do not share income with you or your children, and who pay a pro-rated share of expenses), do not include them.

    11. WHAT IF SOME HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS HAVE NO INCOME TO REPORT?

    Household members may not receive some types of income we ask you to report on the
    application, or may not receive income at all. Whenever this happens, please write a 0 in the field. However, if any income fields are left empty or blank, those will  also be counted as zeroes. Please be careful when leaving income fields blank, as we will assume you meant to do so.

     

    12. WHAT IF MY INCOME IS NOT ALWAYS THE SAME?

    List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1000 each month, but you
    missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes. If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.

    13. WE ARE IN THE MILITARY. DO WE REPORT OUR INCOME DIFFERENTLY?

    Your basic pay and cash bonuses must be reported as income. If you get any cash value allowances for off-base housing, food or clothing, or received Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance payments, it must be reported as income. However, if your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income. Any additional combat pay resulting from employment is also excluded from income.

    14. WHAT IF THERE ISN’T ENOUGH SPACE ON THE APPLICATION FOR MY FAMILY?

    List any additional household members on a separate piece of paper, and attach it to your application. Application forms are available online at www.quincypublicschools.com

    15. MY FAMILY NEEDS MORE HELP. ARE THERE OTHER PROGRAMS WE MIGHT APPLY FOR?

    To find out how to apply for MA SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call the MA SNAP Hotline at 1-866-950-3663. For help paying your heating bills this winter call Quincy Community Action at 617 479-8181x301.

    Sincerely,
    Dr. Richard DeCristofaro,
    Superintendent, Quincy Public Schools

    Non-Discrimination Statement: This explains what to do if you believe you have been treated unfairly.
    “In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

    To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:
    http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

    (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
    (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
    (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.
    This institution is an equal opportunity provider.”