Liberty ISD announced its policy on Friday, Aug. 20, that this school year, healthy meals will be offered every school day to all students at no cost. Typically, a student’s household must meet income eligibility requirements to qualify for free or reduced-price meals. However, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued guidance that allows schools to offer meals to all students at no cost for the 2021-2022 school year.
While no application or eligibility determination is required for your student to receive free meals this school year, income eligibility requirements will likely resume in the 2022-2023 school year. As such, Liberty ISD will process household applications during School Year 2021-2022 to ensure student eligibility for free or reduced-price meals during the first 30 days of the 2022-2023 school year while 2022-2023 applications are being processed. Each school/site or central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed upon request.
Starting on August 17, 2021, Liberty ISD will begin distributing letters to the households of the children in the district for Liberty High School and Liberty Middle School about these 2022-2023 eligibility benefits and actions households need to take to apply. Applications also are available at Liberty Food Service Office, 2519 Jefferson Dr., Liberty, Texas, or your child’s campus.
Criteria for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits to Start School Year 2022-2023
The following criteria will be used to determine a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meal benefits at the beginning of School Year 2022-2023:
- Household income that is at or below the income eligibility levels
Categorical or Automatic Eligibility
- Household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant, or displaced by a declared disaster
- Child’s enrollment in Head Start or Even Start
For those households that qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on income, an adult in the household must complete the free and reduced-price meal application and return it to Sandy Sizemore, Food Service Director at 2519 Jefferson Dr., Liberty, Texas. Those individuals filling out the application will need to provide the following information:
- Names of all household members
- Amount, frequency, and source of current income for each household member
- Last 4 digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application or, if the adult does not have a social security number, check the box for “No Social Security number.”
- Signature of an adult household member attesting that the information provided is correct
Categorical or Program Eligibility
Liberty ISD is working with local agencies to identify all children who are categorically and program eligible. Liberty ISD will notify the households of these children that they do not need to complete an application. Any household that does not receive a letter and feels it should have should contact Sandy Sizemore at 936-336-2673 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any household that wishes to decline benefits should contact Sandy Sizemore at 936-336-2673 or email email@example.com.
Applications may be submitted anytime during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used to determine eligibility. Applications may also be verified by the school officials at any time during the school year.
Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, Food Service Director, Sandy Sizemore, will review applications and determine eligibility. Households or guardians dissatisfied with the Reviewing Official’s eligibility determination may wish to discuss the decision with the Reviewing Official on an informal basis. Households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either orally or in writing to Dr. Cody Abshier, 1600 Grand Ave., Liberty, Texas.
If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below the attached current income eligibility guidelines.