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Chesterfield County students may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals

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Chesterfield County Public Schools provides nutritious breakfasts and lunches in every school. Based on household size and income, students may qualify for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program and/or the School Breakfast Program.

Online submission of applications is available at http://www.heartlandapps.com/. Paper application forms will be distributed to all households with a letter informing households of the availability of free or reduced-price meals for their children. Applications are also available at each school and at Central Office.

Information that families submit is entirely confidential, as is the process for obtaining a meal. Going through the cafeteria line is exactly the same for students receiving free or reduced-price meals as it is for students who do not qualify for the program.

Only one application per family is required. 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.

Household size and income determine whether a family qualifies for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. (A chart at the end of this news release includes qualifying requirements.)

  • 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.
    • Households that receive SNAP benefits or 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.
  • Children who are homeless, migrant, or runaway may also 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. Children who are eligible for Medicaid may also be eligible for free or reduced price meals based on the household’s income.
  • Children who are members of households participating in WIC may also be eligible for free or reduced-price meals based on the household’s income. However, if SNAP or TANF families were not contacted before school opens Sept. 6, they should fill out an application for free or reduced-price meals.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, a fiscal technician 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:

Christina Berta, Chief Financial Officer
7610 Whitepine Road
North Chesterfield, VA 23237
(804) 743-3717

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.