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Free and Reduced Price Meal Application



Children need healthy meals to learn. The Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education offers healthy meals every school day.  Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals at the prices listed below.  To fill out the meal application, log into your Genesis Parent Access Account and click on the FORMS module.  You only need to submit one application per household, even if your children attend more than one school in the district. 

You also have the option to visit the USDA Food and Nutrition webpage Applying for Free and Reduced Price Meals for information and a paper based application (Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals - PDF).  





http://www.pthsd.k12.nj.us/for_parents__students/genesis_parent_access

 
http://parsippany.ss9.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_27012/File/District/Food%20Services/18-19%20Paper-based%20Meal%20Application%20Packet.pdf






Contents

  1. 1 Meal Application Step 1- Before You Begin
    1. 1.1 Use of Information Statement
    2. 1.2 USDA Non-Discrimination Statement
    3. 1.3 Terms of Service
  2. 2 Meal Application Step 2 - Children
    1. 2.1 Students In Household
    2. 2.2 Other Children
    3. 2.3 Children's Racial and Ethnic Identities
    4. 2.4 Assistance Program Participation
    5. 2.5 Additional Information for your District
  3. 3 Meal Application Step 3 - Income
    1. 3.1 Income for Students in Household
    2. 3.2 Income for All Other Household Members (including non-earners)
    3. 3.3 Household Size
  4. 4 Meal Application Step 4 - Summary
    1. 4.1 Certify and Submit
  5. 5 Frequently Asked Questions
    1. 5.1 Who can get free or reduced price meals? 
    2. 5.2 How do I know if my children qualify as Homeless, Migrant, or Runaway?
    3. 5.3 Do I need to fill out an application for each one of my children?
    4. 5.4 Do I fill out an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are approved for free meals?
    5. 5.5 Can I apply online?
    6. 5.6 My child's application was approved last year, do I need to fill out a new application?
    7. 5.7 I get WIC, can my children get free meals?
    8. 5.8 Will the information I submit be checked?
    9. 5.9 If I don't qualify now, may I apply later?
    10. 5.10 What if I disagree with the school's decision about my application?
    11. 5.11 May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen?
    12. 5.12 What if my income is not always the same?
    13. 5.13 What if some household members have no income to report?
    14. 5.14 We are in the military.  Do we report our income differently?
    15. 5.15 My family needs help.  Are there any programs we might apply for?


To begin the Meal Application process, sign into your Genesis Parent Access account and select the FORMS tab.  Then click the APPLY Button.


Meal Application Step 1- Before You Begin

Before you begin, there are a few things you should know.

 

You do not need to submit an application if you received a letter from the Parsippany-Troy Hills School District saying that your children were automatically approved (directly certified) for free meals for the 2018–2019 school year because someone in your household participates in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).

 

Submit one application for your household. This application will cover all the children who attend school in Parsippany-Troy Hills School District, even if your children attend more than one school in the district.

 

Eligibility for free or reduced price school meal benefits is based on any one of three things:

  • your total household income and size in the month the application is filled out, or the month before, or
  • your child’s individual status as foster, homeless, migrant or runaway, or
  • participation in an assistance program (i.e. SNAP, TANF, FDPIR) by any member of your household

Your US citizenship or immigration status does not affect your eligibility for free and reduced price benefits.

 

Things you'll need . . .

 

We compiled a list of the information you might need to complete the application. If you have this information handy, it will make the application process fast and easy.

  • If you participate in SNAP, TANF, or FDPIR you will need to know your case number (not your card or account number).
  • If you do not participate in any of the above assistance programs, you will need to report your total household income. In that case…
    • if anyone in your household has a job, you may need to reference the earnings statements or pay stubs to report your gross income, which is the total of the paycheck prior to deducting taxes, insurance or other deductions, which is different from the amount you actually receive in your paycheck “take-home pay”.
    • if anyone receives Social Security or retirement benefits, you may need to gather the benefit statements to report the amount and frequency of the payments.
    • you may also need to reference other financial documents for additional sources of income.

Still not sure if you have everything you need? Don’t worry! Check out the the income section of these instructions for detailed instructions and explanations about the sources of income you must include, and you can gather additional information then.

 

Please use the instructions below to help you fill out the application for free or reduced price school meals. The application must be filled out completely to certify your children for free or reduced price school meals. If at any time you are not sure what to do next, please contact your school.

Please read and acknowledge the following legal statements.

Use of Information Statement

The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information on this application. You do not have to give the information, but if you do not, we cannot approve your child for free or reduced price meals. You must include the last four digits of the social security number of the adult household member who signs the application. The last four digits of the social security number is not required when you apply on behalf of a foster child or you list a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) case number or other FDPIR identifier for your child or when you indicate that the adult household member signing the application does not have a social security number. We will use your information to determine if your child is eligible for free or reduced price meals, and for administration and enforcement of the lunch and breakfast programs. 

We MAY share your eligibility information with education, health, and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund, or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews, and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

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 Mail   

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410


By Fax

(202) 690-7442

 

By Email

program.intake@usda.gov

Terms of Service

I understand that this information is given in connection with the receipt of Federal funds, and that school officials may verify (check) the information. I am aware that if I purposely give false information, my children may lose meal benefits.

Click the "I agree to terms and services" checkbox, then click "Accept and Continue" button to move to Step 2.

Agree to Terms and Services

Meal Application Step 2 - Children

You only need to submit one application per household, even if your children attend more than one school in the district. Tell us the name of each child, including infants, that live in your household. The children do NOT have to be related to you to be a part of your household.  When completing this section, include ALL members in your household who are:

  • Children age 18 or under AND are supported with the household’s income;
  • In your care under a foster arrangement, or qualify as homeless, migrant, or runaway youth;
  • Students attending the school system, regardless of age.

Students In Household

The Meal Application lists all the students currently associated with your Parent Access account.  If one of your school age children are not listed, please contact your child's school.  Be sure to mark the appropriate checkbox if the student qualifies as Foster, Homeless, Migrant, or Runaway.

Students in Household

Other Children

Tell us the name of each child, including infants, that live in your household. The children do NOT have to be related to you to be a part of your household.  Don’t forget to include:
  • students that are in grade 12 or below and attend school in a school district other than Parsippany-Troy Hills School District
  • children that attend day care or pre-school, or are not of school age, including infants
  • anyone 18 years of age or younger living in your household that does not currently attend school
Be sure to mark the appropriate checkbox if the student qualifies as Foster, Homeless, Migrant, or Runaway.  ADD A CHILD by clicking the ADD A CHILD button.
 
Other Children in Household

Children's Racial and Ethnic Identities

We are required to ask for information about your children's race and ethnicity.  This information is important and helps to make sure we are fully serving our community.  Responding to this section is optional and does not affect you children's eligibility for free or reduced price meals.

Children's Racial and Ethnic Identities

Assistance Program Participation

Do any Household Members (including you) currently participate in one or more of the following assistance programs:  SNAP, TANF, FDPIR?  If yes, mark the checkbox and enter your Case Number.  
You only need to provide one case number.
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or NJ SNAP.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or NJ TANF/WorkFirst NJ.
  • The Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).
If you participate in one of these programs and do not know your case number, contact your local county welfare agency:  http://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dfd/programs/njsnap/cwa/index.html

Assistance Program Participation

Additional Information for your District

The Additional Information field is available if you want to provide additional information to the district.  It is optional.

Additional Info

Click SAVE and CONTINUE button to move to Step 3 - Income

Meal Application Step 3 - Income

For each household member that earns or receives income, enter the amount along with how often it is received (i.e. weekly, annually, etc.).

Income for Students in Household

Some common sources of income for students are:

  • a full-time or part-time job,
  • Social Security benefits:
    • Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter to children younger than age 18 who have a physical or mental condition, or combination of conditions, that meets Social Security's definition of disability for children, and if his or her income and resources fall within the eligibility limits.
    • Survivor Benefits are monthly payments to children of a deceased parent who was retired or disabled, but worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system.
  • money regularly received from extended family or friends outside the household (i.e. if grandparents or friends regularly help cover the cost of groceries, bills, or rent, that money is considered household income), or
  • money received from a pension, annuity, or trust

Do not include infrequent earnings, such as income from occasional baby-sitting or mowing lawns.

Income reported here should be the child’s current, GROSS income.  GROSS income means all money earned or received before deductions, such as income taxes, social security taxes, and insurance premiums. DO NOT report NET income, commonly referred to as “take home pay” which is the amount of money you receive in your paycheck.  NET income is GROSS income, minus taxes, insurance premiums, and other deductions.

Income - Students in Household

Income for All Other Household Members (including non-earners)

For the purpose of applying for school meal benefits, a household is defined as a group of people, related or unrelated, that usually live together and share income and expenses. Include people regardless of age or whether they earn or receive income.

Don't forget about:

  • grandparents or other extended family members that are living with you
  • include people that are not currently living with you, but are only away on a temporary basis, like:
    • kids that are away at college,
    • members of your family that are in the military, and are deployed

Some common sources of income for adults are:

  • earnings from work including salary, wages, tips, commissions, cash bonuses or net income from self-employment
  • income from public assistance including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or cash assistance or housing subsidies from state or local government
  • income from alimony or child support
  • income from unemployment benefits, Veterans benefits, workers compensation, strike benefits, or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
  • retirement income from Social Security (including survivor benefits, Black Lung Benefits and Railroad Retirement) or pensions
  • other sources of income including regular cash payments from outside the household, rental income, earned interest, investment income and annuities, or any other source of income available to pay for children’s school meals
Income - Other Household Members

Household Size

For the purpose of applying for school meal benefits, a household is defined as a group of people, related or unrelated, that usually live together and share income and expenses. 

Household size is an important part of determining free and reduced meal status.  The Meal Application will automatically calculate the Total Household Members (Adults and Children) based on the Household Members listed in the Income for Students and Income for Other (including non-earners) sections of Meal Application Step 3 - Income.  

If the Household Size number is not correct, please review the non-student OTHER Household Members that are listed and ADD or DELETE as needed.

  • ADD:  Click the Add Another Household Member button
  • DELETE:  Clearing the member's name will remove them from the list
Household Size

Click SAVE and CONTINUE button to move to Step 4 - Verification

Meal Application Step 4 - Summary

Please make sure that all information visible on this page has been entered correctly.  If you need to make any changes, please click the BACK button.

Certify and Submit

Please provide the last four digits of the Social Security number for the person that signed at the beginning of the application. If that person does not have a Social Security number, please check the box below labeled 'Check here to indicate you do not have a Social Security Number'.

Note: United States citizenship or immigration status is not a condition of eligibility for free and reduced price benefits. The non-cash benefits received through the school meal programs are not subject to public charge consideration. In other words, you will not be deported, denied entry to the country, or denied permanent status because you apply for or receive school meal benefits.

Check the "Check this box to certify:" and then click the SUBMIT button.

Certify and Submit

Once you submit your application, the application's status will be set to UNDER REVIEW.  The review process should take no more than 3 business days.

Lunch Application Status

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can get free or reduced price meals? 

  • All children in households receiving benefits from NJ SNAP or NJ TANF/WorkFirst-NJ are eligible for free meals. 
  • Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals. 
  • Children participating in their school’s Head Start program are eligible for free meals.
  • Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals. 
  • Children may receive free or reduced price meals if your household’s income is at or below the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines chart shown below.

How do I know if my children qualify as Homeless, Migrant, or Runaway?

If you believe children in your household meet one of the following descriptions, and haven’t been told your children will get free meals, please call or email your school, homeless liaison or migrant coordinator. 
    • Foster: Do members of your household lack a permanent address?
    • Homeless: Are you staying together in a shelter, hotel, or other temporary housing arrangement?
    • Migrant:  Does your family relocate on a seasonal basis for agriculture or fishing?
    • Runaway:  Are any children living with you who have chosen to leave their prior family or household?

Do I need to fill out an application for each one of my children?

No, you do not need to fill out an application for each child, complete only one application per household.

Do I fill out an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are approved for free meals?

No, you do not need to fill out an application if you have received a letter stating your children are approved for free meals, however, please read the letter you received carefully and follow the instructions.  If any children in your household were missing from your eligibility notification, contact your school immediately.

Can I apply online?

Yes, you are encouraged to complete the online Meal Application in Genesis Parent Access > Forms Module.  The online application has the same requirements and will ask you for the same information as the paper application.  Contact your school if you have any questions about the online application.

My child's application was approved last year, do I need to fill out a new application?

Your child's application is only good for one school year and for the first few days of the new school year.  You must complete a new application unless the school notified you that your child is eligible for free meals the new school year.

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 submit an application.

Will the information I submit be checked?

Yes, applications are reviewed and the district may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report.

If I don't qualify now, may I apply later?

Yes, you may apply at any time during the school year.  For example, children with a parent or guardian who becomes unemployed during the school year may become eligible for free and reduced price meals if the household income drops below the income limit found on the FEDERAL INCOME CHART for this school year.

What if I disagree with the school's decision about my application?

You should talk to school officials if you disagree with the school's decision.  You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to:

Robin C. Tedesco, Hearing Officer
Parsippany-Troy Hills School District
292 Parsippany Road
Parsippany, NJ  07054
862-702-2017

May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen?

Yes, you may apply.  You, your children, or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to qualify for free or reduced price meals.

What if my income is not always the same?

List the amount that you normally receive.  For example:

  • If you normally earn $1,000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that your income is $1,000 per month.
  • If you regularly receive overtime, include the overtime amount in your income.
  • If you receive overtime occasionally, do not include the overtime amount in your income.
  • If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, report your current income.

What if some household members have no income to report?

Household members may not receive the types of income we ask you to report on the application, or may not receive income at all.  Whenever this happens, please put a zero 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.

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 receive Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance payments, it must also be included 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 deployment is also excluded from income.

My family needs help.  Are there any programs we might apply for?

To find out how to apply for NJ SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office, call 1-800-687-9512 or go to NJOneApp.gov (https://oneapp.dhs.state.nj.us/default.aspx). 

https://oneapp.dhs.state.nj.us/default.aspx   

You can also contact NJ FamilyCare or Medicaid at 1-800-701-0710 or www.njfamilycare.org for information regarding health insurance for your family.

NJFamilyCare    

For the WIC Program, call 1-800-328-3838 or go to www.nj.gov/health/fhs/wic.

  WIC Program