Bedford Public Schools Offers Another Year of Meals at No Cost for Students

September 7, 2023

Submitted by Bedford Public Schools

Bedford Public Schools will be participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or the School Breakfast Program (not all schools serve breakfast).

As part of this program, Bedford High School, John Glenn Middle School, Lane Elementary School and Davis Elementary School will offer healthy meals every school day. The Massachusetts legislature has provided funding to make meals available at no cost to all students during school year 2023-2024, regardless of household income.

However, families with students in Bedford Public Schools should still complete a Meal Benefit Application as this provides data for key funding for academic resources and may also connect families to additional benefits.  This data will also support the additional funds provided by the Commonwealth for this pilot. 

Household size and income criteria are used to determine eligibility for free and reduced-price benefits if the household does not receive assistance or the children are not in the other categories mentioned above. Children can get free or reduced-price meals if the household’s gross income falls at or below the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guideline chart.

FEDERAL ELIGIBILITY INCOME CHART For School Year 2023-2024
Maximum Household Income Eligible for Free MealsMaximum Household Income Eligible for Reduced Price Meals
Household sizeYearlyMonthlyWeeklyYearlyMonthlyWeekly
1$18,954$1,580$365$26,973$2,248$519
225,6362,13749336,4823,041702
332,3182,69462245,9913,833885
439,0003,25075055,5004,6251,068
545,6823,80787965,0095,4181,251
652,3644,3641,00774,5186,2101,434
759,0464,9211,13684,0277,0031,616
865,7285,4781,26493,5367,7951,799
Each additional person:+6,682+557+129+9,509+793+183

To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households can fill out the application and return it to the school unless the household has already received notification that their children are approved for free meals this year. Application forms are being distributed to all households with a letter informing households of the availability of free and reduced-price meals for their children and what is required to complete on the application. Applications also are available at the student office in each school, in the summer mailing and on our web site at https://bedfordpsmanutrition.org/

Only one application is required for all children in the household and the information provided on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and verification of data.  Applications may be verified at any time during the school year by the school or other program officials. An application for free or reduced-price benefits cannot be approved unless it contains complete eligibility information as indicated on the application and instructions. In the operation of child feeding programs, no child will be discriminated against because of race, sex, color, national origin, age, or disability.

Families can apply for benefits at any time. 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 Federal Guidelines. Contact Tom Houle at any time to request an application. 

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price policy, Food Service Director will review applications and determine eligibility.  Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either orally or in writing to Julie Kirrane, Bedford Public Schools 97 McMahon Rd Bedford, MA 01730, 781-275-7588.

When known to Bedford Public Schools, households will be notified of their children’s eligibility for free meals if they are members of households receiving assistance from the: 

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); 
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR); or 
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), if the State program meets Federal standards. 

An application is not required for free meal benefits for Assistance Program participants and all the children in the household are eligible for free meal benefits. If any children were not listed on the notice of eligibility, or if a household does not receive a notice of eligibility, the household should contact the school to have free meal benefits extended to them. Participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals, but they will need to turn in an application including household size and total income.

When known to Bedford Public Schools households will also be notified of any child’s eligibility for free meals if the individual child is considered “Other Source Categorically Eligible”, because the child is categorized, as defined by law as: 

  • Foster
  • Homeless, 
  • Migrant, 
  • Runaway, 
  • Enrolled in an eligible Head Start, or 
  • Enrolled in an eligible pre-kindergarten class. 

If any children were not listed on the notice of eligibility, the household should contact the school about their eligibility through the list above, or should submit an income application. 

Households notified of their children’s eligibility must contact the school if the household chooses to decline the benefits. 

For more information, you may call Tom Houle at 781-275-9129 or e-mail at [email protected].

Non-Discrimination Statement: 

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted 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; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:
    [email protected]

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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