HomeSchools & YouthBurbank School District Details Updates for Free Meals

Burbank School District Details Updates for Free Meals

The Burbank Unified School District recently announced an updated policy under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, allowing more families to easily qualify for the program that gives free and reduced-priced meals to students every school day.

Breakfasts and lunches will be served free of charge, but the Burbank Unified School District is still required to make eligibility determinations for the discounted meals.

In all future school years, students with parents participating in benefits programs like CalFresh or CalWORKs now automatically qualify for free and reduced-priced meals under the new policy. Through the end of the 2023-24 school year, children were considered eligible for free or reduced-price meals if the household income is less than or equal to the federal guidelines.

Now, families do not need to turn in an application when their household receives a notification letter saying that all children automatically qualify for free meals when any household member receives benefits from CalFresh, CalWORKs or FDPIR.

Also, students 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.

Parents or guardians should let school officials know if any child in the household is not on the notification letter. Families must let school officials know if they do not want to be considered eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

Applications will be sent to the household with a letter about the school meal program. While breakfasts and lunches will be provided free of charge every school day, determining eligibility for free and reduced-price meals is still necessary and these determinations can be used to qualify households for other benefits.

Households interested in establishing eligibility for meal benefits must fill out one application for all children in the household and give it to the nutrition office at Burbank USD — Food Service Department, 1900 W. Olive Ave., Burbank. For a simple and secure method to apply, find the online application at Contact the Food Service Department at (818) 729-4539 for help filling out the application. The school will provide notification regarding the outcome of the applications.

Parents or guardians may turn in an application at any time during the school year. If a family’s household income goes down, or household size goes up, or a household member starts receiving CalFresh, CalWORKs or FDPIR, they may turn in an application at that time. Information given on the application will be used to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school officials. The last four digits of the Social Security number from any adult household member are required if they include income on the application. For adults without a Social Security number, they may still apply by indicating this on the application.

Family members who receive Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children benefits, may be considered eligible for free or reduced-price meals by filling out an application.

Foster children are automatically eligible for free meals and may be included as a household member if the foster family chooses to also apply for non-foster children on the same application. Including foster children as a household member may help non-foster children qualify for free or reduced-price meals. If the non-foster children are not eligible, this does not keep foster children from being considered eligible for free meals.

Each student’s eligibility status from last school year will continue into the new school year for up to 30 school days or until the school processes the household’s new application, or the student is otherwise eligible for free or reduced-price meals. School officials do not have to send reminders or expired eligibility notices.

If families do not agree with the decision or results of verification, they may discuss it with school officials. They also have the right to a fair hearing, which may be requested by calling or writing the hearing official: Superintendent John Paramo, 1900 W. Olive Ave., Burbank, (818) 729-4400.

First published in the April 13 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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