Burlington issues guidelines for free and reduced lunch eligibility

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Burlington issues guidelines for free and reduced lunch eligibility

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 2:21am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Burlington School District (BSD) has announced the 2019-2020 guidelines for free and reduced lunches within the District. This notice pertains to those students at Burlington High School (BHS), Champlain and Edmunds Elementary (EES) schools, and Edmunds Middle School (EMS). All students at Hunt Middle School (HMS) and CP Smith, JJ Flynn, Integrated Arts Academy (IAA) and Sustainability Academy (SA) elementary schools will continue to receive all meals free as these schools participate in the USDA Community Eligibility Provision.

Breakfast at all schools remains free for all students. Lunch is $3.25 at BHS, and $2.25 at Champlain, EES, and EMS. Students at BHS, EES, EMS, and Champlain may qualify for free meals or reduced-price meals. As in years past, families qualifying for reduced price meals will continue to receive these meals at no charge, with  BSD covering the reduced price for those meals.

All families interested in receiving free meals, including BSD families who were eligible for the 2018-2019 school year, must submit a new application for their children on or before October 9th, 2019 to qualify to receive free or reduced-price meals for the 2019-2020 school year. Applications are accepted at any time during the school year and will be effective when approved by the Food Service Office.

Applications are available online at https://www.burlingtonschoolfoodproject.org/application-for-free-meals/ or at the main office of each school. If you would like to request an application be mailed to you, please contact your child’s school or call the Food Service Director’s Office at (802) 864-8416.


  1. Who can get free/REDUCED PRICE meals?
    1. All children in households receiving benefits from 3SquaresVT or Reach-Up are eligible for free meals.
    2. Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals.
    3. Children participating in their school’s Head Start program are eligible for free meals.
    4. Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.
    5. Children may receive free or reduced-price meals if your household’s income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Your children may qualify for free or reduced price meals if your household income falls at or below the limits on the chart below.  



Household Size



Twice Per Month

Every Two Weeks


















































For each additional household member add






  1. HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILDREN QUALIFY AS homeless, MIGRANT, OR RUNAWAY? Do the members of your household lack a permanent address? Are you staying together in a shelter, hotel, or other temporary housing arrangement? Does your family relocate on a seasonal basis? Are any children living with you who have chosen to leave their prior family or household? If you believe children in your household meet these descriptions and haven’t been told your children will get free meals, please call or email Pat Matton at (802) 864-8416 or pmatton@bsdvtg.org immediately.
  2. Do I need to fill out an application for each child? No. Use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information. Return the completed application to Pat Matton at the above email address or via mail at Burlington School Food Project, 52 Institute Road, Burlington, VT 05408
  3. SHOULD I FILL OUT AN APPLICATION IF I RECEIVED A LETTER THIS SCHOOL YEAR SAYING MY CHILDREN ARE ALREADY APPROVED FOR FREE MEALS?  No, but please read the letter you got carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household were missing from your eligibility notification, contact Pat Matton at (802) 864-8416 or pmatton@bsdvtg.org immediately.
  4. MY CHILD’S APPLICATION WAS APPROVED LAST YEAR. DO I NEED TO FILL OUT A NEW ONE?  Yes. Your child’s application is only good for that school year and for the first few days of this school year. You must send in a new application unless the school told you that your child is eligible for the new school year. If you do not send in a new application that is approved by the school or you have not been notified that your child is eligible for free meals, your child will be charged the full price for meals.
  5. I GET WIC. CAN MY CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals; a meal application is needed. Please send in an application.
  6. Will the information I give be checked? Yes. We may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report.
  7. 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 may become eligible for free and reduced price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.
  8.  What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application? You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to Doug Davis, (802) 864-8416 or ddavis@bsdvt.org
  9. May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen? Yes. You, your children, or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply for free or reduced price meals. 
  10. What if my income is not always the same? List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes. If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.
  11. WHAT IF SOME HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS HAVE NO INCOME TO REPORT? Household members may not receive some types of income we ask you to report on the application, or may not receive income at all. Whenever this happens, please write a 0 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.
  12. 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.
  13. WHAT IF THERE ISN’T ENOUGH SPACE ON THE APPLICATION FOR MY FAMILY?  List any additional household members on a separate piece of paper and attach it to your application.
  14. My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for? To find out how to apply for 3SquaresVT or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call          1-800-479-6151.

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 at any USDA office or online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html. You may also 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:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Burlington School District (BSD) is a pre-k-12 public school system of about 4,000 students in Burlington, VT. BSD’s mission is to graduate students who: value different cultures, engage with the community, communicate effectively, think creatively, skillfully solve problems, and achieve at their highest academic, intellectual, and personal potential.

Source: BSD 9.10.2019