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

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 School Breakfast Program.

The online application for free or reduced-price school meals is available here:  www.mychesterfieldschools.heartlandapps.com. Paper 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 are also available at the principal’s office in each school and at Central Office.

Information that families submit is entirely confidential. 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: There is no difference.

Only one application per family is required. 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:

Household size Maximum annual 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

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 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.

Breakfast includes an entrée, two fruits and milk. A full lunch includes an entrée or sandwich, one or two vegetables, one or two fruits and milk. The full price of breakfast is $1.50. The full price of lunch is $2.40 in elementary schools, $2.50 in middle schools and $2.75 in high schools. During the 2017-18 year, Chesterfield County Public Schools will waive the reduced fee so that students who qualify for reduced-price breakfasts and lunches will receive them free.

School officials will review applications and notify households of their eligibility. Households may discuss the ruling or get more information by calling Rebecca Bryant at 743-3722. Families whose application is denied may appeal the decision either verbally or in writing to: Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance, 7610 Whitepine Road, North Chesterfield, VA 23237, 743-3717.

If a household is not eligible now for free or reduced-price meals but experiences a financial change during the year, then a parent or guardian should submit another application. Families who are notified of their eligibility but who do not want their children to receive free meals should call Rebecca Bryant at 743-3722.

The nondiscrimination policy for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, is available at www.fns.usda.gov/usda-nondiscrimination-statement.