Free and Reduced Meal Program

Dear Greenfield Parents:

We want to inform you that registering for free & reduced lunch helps our families and our schools. Your child/children may be eligible for free & reduced priced lunch, even if you are unsure. We encourage all families to fill out an application as soon as possible. If we do not have an application on file or your child/children have not been directly certified through the state Virtual Gateway, the guardian is responsible for all charged student meals, prior to receiving an application and application-approval. Free/reduced applications must be completed at the start of each school year, to avoid losing the free/reduced status from the previous year. If your child/children is directly certified by the state for free or reduced meal prices, you will be notified and you will not need to complete an application for eligibility. There is only ONE application necessary per household. Applications can be filled out at any time throughout the school year. All information is confidential.

Click here to download the 2019-2020 Massachusetts Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals

Children may receive free or reduced price meals if your household’s income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines and:

    • All children in households receiving benefits from MA SNAP, MA TAFDC, FDPIR, or specific categories of Medicaid are eligible for free meals.
    • Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals.
    • Children participating in their school’s Head Start program are eligible for free meals.
    • Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.

The Greenfield Public Schools will take reasonable steps to ensure that persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) have meaningful access and an equal opportunity to participate in our schools, educational programs, and activities.  All interpreters, translators and other aids needed to provide language access for students and families will be provided without cost to the person being served.

Language assistance will be provided through use of competent bilingual staff, district language interpreters, and/or contracts or formal arrangements with local organizations providing interpretation or translation services.

Please contact the student services office by calling 413 772-1320 if you would like a translated copy of any district communication to include our student handbook, district policies, or forms. 

Free Breakfast information

BREAKFAST

Breakfast is FREE to every Greenfield student in all schools. No forms are needed. Your principal can tell you what time doors open for breakfast.

LUNCH

Greenfield Public Schools provides nutritious hot meals to all our students on calendar school days. A variety of meal choices and fresh fruits & vegetables are offered daily at all schools. We offer pre-made salads, sandwiches, made-to-order items, and more at the High School and the Middle School. A government program gives us money to help pay for the cost of meals for children who qualify for free/reduced priced lunches.

We follow national school nutrition guidelines and state safety and cleanliness regulations. We serve over 300,000 meals each year. We also feed children 18 and under for free in several locations during the summer.

To receive FREE or REDUCED-price meals, the parent or guardian must fill out an application, unless your child/children is directly certified by the state. There are family income guidelines to determine whether your child/children are eligible for free or reduced meals. The guidelines compare family income to national income levels. If you need help with these forms, please contact Joan Bitters who works with parents: 413-772-1334

HELP YOUR FAMILY AND OUR SCHOOLS—REGISTER

We want families to have free and reduced meals whenever possible. We know this program helps our families.

The program also helps our schools! We receive grants for reading teachers, library books, math teachers, tutoring, and summer schools. The amount we receive for these grants is based on how many students receive free and reduced lunch. Therefore, when parents use our Free and Reduced Lunch program—you are also helping our schools.

Please visit our facebook page for photos of meals that we serve and for updates @GreenfieldSchoolLunch 

If you want more information or need help, do not hesitate to contact us. 413-772-1334 

Frequently Asked Questions

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 e-mail Matthew Holloway  mathol1@gpsk12.org 413-772-1320

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: Greenfield Public Schools, Food Service Department, 195 Federal Street, Suite 100, Greenfield MA, 01301

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 Joan Bitters, joabit1@gpsk12.org, 413-772-1334 immediately.

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. 

I GET WIC.  CAN MY CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS? 

Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals.  Please send in a completed application.

Will the information I give be checked?

Yes. We may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report.

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.

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: Steve Nembirkow, 195 Federal Street, Greenfield MA, 01301, stenem1@gpsk12.org, 413-772-1314 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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. Contact Joan Bitters, joabit1@gpsk12.org, 413-722-1334 to receive a second application or you may pick on up in the district office at 195 Federal Street, Greenfield MA 01301

My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for?

To find out how to apply for MA SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call the MA SNAP Hotline at 1-866-950-3663.

* The Virtual Gateway is an internet portal designed by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) to provide the general public, medical providers, community-based organizations, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and EOHHS staff with online access to health and human services, allowing for easy access to critical health and human services programs and information. If you do not agree with the Virtual Gateway eligibility determination, please contact Joan Bitters at 413-772-1334 to request a paper verification package, which will allow you to submit current income information.

Non-Discrimination Statement

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 online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or 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.