In The Know with Gino: Hamilton County Schools Reveals Free and Reduced-Price Meals Policy for 2023-2024 Academic Year

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CHATTANOOGA, TN – In an effort to provide vital assistance to families in need, Hamilton County Schools has unveiled its free and reduced-price meals policy for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year.

This announcement was made today, emphasizing the district’s commitment to supporting students’ nutritional requirements and overall well-being.

The policy encompasses a wide range of eligibility criteria designed to encompass households facing various financial and life circumstances. According to the district’s spokesperson, this initiative reflects their dedication to ensuring that no child goes hungry in their pursuit of education.

Eligibility criteria for free meals include:

  1. Households Receiving TN SNAP or Families First (TANF) Benefits: All children belonging to households that are beneficiaries of the TN SNAP or Families First (TANF) programs are eligible for free meals. This provision is aimed at easing the financial burden on families that are already receiving state assistance.
  2. Foster Children: Children under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are automatically eligible for free meals. The district acknowledges the special needs of these children and aims to provide them with the nourishment they require.
  3. Participants in School’s Head Start Program: Children enrolled in their school’s Head Start program, which serves as a crucial early education platform, are also eligible for free meals. This policy aligns with the district’s focus on nurturing the development of young learners.
  4. Homeless, Runaway, or Migrant Children: To address the unique challenges faced by children in unstable living conditions, the district extends free meal eligibility to those who meet the definitions of homeless, runaway, or migrant children. This move underscores the district’s commitment to inclusivity and social welfare.

For families not meeting the criteria for free meals but still needing assistance, the reduced-price meals option offers valuable support. Children from households with incomes falling within the limits outlined in the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines can qualify for reduced-price lunches. Families interested in availing this benefit are encouraged to contact their respective schools for further information on the application process.

To ensure transparency and facilitate access, Hamilton County Schools have made their menus readily available to parents and guardians. The menus for each child’s school within the district can be accessed on the official school website, allowing families to stay informed about the nutritional options available to their children.

As the new academic year approaches, Hamilton County Schools remains steadfast in its dedication to fostering an environment that nurtures both the educational and nutritional needs of its students. This free and reduced-price meals policy stands as a testament to the district’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that every child has an equal opportunity to thrive, regardless of their economic circumstances.

SOURCE: News Channel 9