DATE: August 16, 2017
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049

Albemarle County Public Schools Issues 2017-18 Policy for Providing Free or Reduced Price Meals for Students

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Albemarle County Public Schools today announced its policy for providing free or reduced price meals for children served under the National School Lunch, and/or School Breakfast Programs. Each school and/or central school nutrition office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

Household size and income will be used to determine eligibility for free or reduced price meal benefits. Children from households whose income is at or below the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines, shown in the chart below, may be eligible for either free or reduced price meals. Children who are members of households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly the Food Stamp Program) or who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) may be automatically eligible for free meals. Children who are homeless, migrant, or runaway also may be automatically eligible for free meals. Foster children, who are the legal responsibility of a welfare agency or court, are eligible for free meals regardless of the income of the household with whom they reside. Individuals “automatically” eligible will receive a directly certified notification letter. If you do not receive a directly certified notification letter, then eligibility will be determined by submitting a free/reduced meal application. Children who are members of households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals based on the household’s income.

​Household Size
​Maximum Household Income for Free Meals ​Household Income for Reduced Price Meals
​1 $15,678 $15,678.01 - $22,311
​2 $21,112 $21,112.01 - $30,044
​3 $26,546 $26,546.01 - $37,777
​4 $31,980 $31,980.01 - $45,510
​5 $37,414 $37,414.01 - $53,243
​6 $42,848 $42,848.01 - $60,976
​7 $48,282 $48,282.01 - $68,709
​8 $53,716 $53,716.01 - $76,442
​For Each Additional Family Member - ADD $5,434 $7,733

Application forms are being distributed to all households with a letter informing households of the availability of free or reduced price meals for their children. Applications also are available in each school office and at the Central Office, located on the 3rd floor of the County Office Building at 401 McIntire Road in Charlottesville. To apply for free or reduced price meals, households must fill out only one application per household and return it to the school division. Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used for determining eligibility and verification of data. Applications may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials. For school officials to determine eligibility for free or reduced price benefits, households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly the Food Stamp Program) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) only have to list their child(ren)'s name(s) and SNAP or TANF case number, and an adult household member must sign the application. Households who do not list a SNAP or TANF case number, including WIC households, must list the names of all household members, the amount and frequency of the income received by each household member, and the last four digits of the social security number of the adult household member who signs the application. If the household member does not have a social security number, the household member must indicate that a social security number is not available. The application must be signed by an adult household member in order to be approved.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced price meal policy, the Child Nutrition Program (CNP) Analyst will review applications and determine eligibility. An application for free or reduced price meals cannot be approved unless it is complete. Households dissatisfied with the ruling of the eligibility determining official may wish to discuss the decision with the official on an informal basis. Households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request, either verbally or in writing, to: Dean Tistadt, Chief Operating Officer, Albemarle County Public Schools, 434-296-5877, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, VA 22902.

Households may apply for free or reduced price meals at any time during the school year. If a household is not eligible now, but has a change such as a decrease in household income, an increase in household size, becomes unemployed, or qualifies for SNAP or TANF, the household should contact the school for an application. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household's income falls at or below the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.

Households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly the Food Stamp Program) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) may not have to complete an application for free or reduced price student meals. School officials will determine eligibility for free meals based on documentation, obtained directly from the Virginia Department of Social Services, that a child is a member of a household currently receiving SNAP or TANF. School officials will notify these households in writing of their eligibility. Households who are notified of their eligibility, but who do not want their children to receive free meals, must contact the school. SNAP and TANF households must complete an application if they are not notified in writing of their automatic eligibility within the first 10 days of the new school year.


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.

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View a printable version of this release (PDF) »

View the 2017-18 Letter to Households (PDF) »