Winters students could receive free or reduced priced meals

Winters students can receive free or reduced-priced lunches if their family household income is less than or equal to the federal guidelines.
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The beginning of school usually includes a packet of papers that comes home with each student. The Winters Joint Unified Schools District application for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program is usually one of them. Winters students can receive free or reduced-priced lunches if their family household income is less than or equal to the federal guidelines. Cathy Olsen, the WJUSD Director of Food Service, said a typical school lunch contains an entrée, two servings of fruit and vegetables, a grain item and milk. School meals are a good value. The price of a school lunch meal is $3.50 and the reduced price is $0.40. The lunch program is open to all enrolled students. The breakfast program is available to Winters Elementary School students. The price of a school breakfast meal is $2 and the reduced price is $0.30. “In Winters we have salad bars at all sites with fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Olsen. “We purchase 95 percent of our produce locally and 52 percent is farm direct – those are outstanding numbers.” When children eat school lunches, they are more likely to consume milk, meats, grains and a variety of vegetables compared to students who don’t, including students who bring lunch from home. They also have higher nutrient intakes – both at lunch and over the course of an entire day due to the variety of foods offered in Winters school cafeterias. “Students have access to an incredible variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day,” said Olsen. “We are following the seasons – so currently lots of local, grapes, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers.” Applications for participation in the lunch and breakfast programs are available at each of the Winters school sites and the WJUSD office at 909 West Grant Avenue. The applications may be turned in anytime during the school year once household circumstances change. Olsen said whether that be more family members to a newly reduced income Winters families may apply or reapply anytime. Only one application needs to be applied per a family as the form allows for multiple children to be included. The school will send a letter home to notify families if their application is approved or denied for free or reduced-price meals. If a household member receives benefits from CalFresh, CalWORKsnor FDPIR all children in the household automatically qualify for free meals. They will receive a notification letter and do not need to turn in an application for the programs. Children who meet the definition of foster, homeless, migrant, or runaway and children enrolled in their school’s Head Start program are eligible for free meals. If any child in the household is not on the notification letter immediately contact school officials. Families who automatically qualify must contact school officials if they do not want their children to receive free or reduced-price meals this school year. Families who receive Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits, may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. The household can apply by filling out and submitting a program application. A child’s eligibility status from the previous school year will continue into the new school year for up to 30 school days or until the school processes the family’s new application, or your child is otherwise certified for free or reduced-price meals. After the 30 school days the child will have to pay full price for meals, unless the household receives a notification letter for free or reduced-price meals. School officials do not have to send reminder or expired eligibility notices. If a household does not agree with the decision or results of verification, they may discuss it with school officials. Households also have the right to a fair hearing, which may be requested by writing to the hearing official Veronica Moreno at 909 West Grant Ave. Winters or calling 530-795-6100.]]>

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