Nutrition Services Director
OMAHA PUBLIC SCHOOL (OPS) FAMILY MEAL APPLICATION
A NEW APPLICATION MUST BE COMPLETED EACH YEAR
Dear Parent(s) or Guardian,
Welcome to the Omaha Public Schools!
Our school breakfast and lunch program is an integral part of the school day. Proper nutrition plays an important role in the success of your student. Our complimentary breakfast program helps students focus on daily challenges. Participating in the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs allows the District to offer free or reduced-price meals to eligible students. Elementary School paid lunches are $1.45 and Secondary School paid lunches are $1.75. The price for a reduced lunch is $.40 in all Omaha Public Schools. Prepayment may be made online (www.schoolcafe.com) or envelopes for elementary students are available from their school office. It is the parent or guardian's responsibility to maintain a positive balance in their student's account.
Community Eligibility Provision (CEP): Omaha Public Schools participates in an option available to students attending Druid Hill, Franklin, Kennedy, King Elementary, and Lothrop as part of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast program. Students enrolled at the above schools are eligible to receive a healthy breakfast and lunch at NO CHARGE to your household each day regardless of income. No further action is required of you.
Additionally, if you have child(ren) who do NOT attend the schools listed above, you will need to submit a free and reduced-price meal application on their behalf for the 2021-22 school year.
Quality of Lunches: All meals served must meet the nutritional standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Our menus offer a wide variety of entree choices, fruits, vegetables, grains and milk flavors to supply the dietary needs for most children. If your child has dietary requirements which prevents them from eating the regular school meal, we will make substitutions prescribed by a medical authority. Please contact Nutrition Services, 531-299-0230, for additional information.
Wellness Policy: A student's health is important to their success in the classroom. The District's Wellness Policy, revised in September 2016, supports the following strategic plan principles; Safe, Healthy, and Engaged Students, Engaged and Empowered Parents and Families; and Involved and Supportive Community Partners. The policy covers areas that include nutrition education, physical activity, nutrition standards, and other school based activities. Each school has staff members who are responsible for developing a school-based wellness plan which aligns with the district's policy (ops.org). Additionally, a district wellness team supports the efforts in the schools by annual reviewing and updating the wellness policy, monitoring the progress of the school plans, and providing technical assistance. Anyone who is interested in learning more about being a part of the wellness initiative can contact the Supervisor of Health Services (531-299-4679) or the Director of Nutrition Services (531-299-0230).
WE HAVE TWO (2) METHODS FOR APPLYING:
Complete our online application or to obtain a paper application you may call your child’s school or call Nutrition Services at 531-299-0230. For the online application. Please read all of the instructions below. We cannot approve an incomplete application, so be sure to fill out all required information.
All 2020-21 meal applications expire on the following dates:
* Wilson Focus school expiration date is September 16, 2021.
* Secondary schools expiration date is September 27, 2021.
* Elementary schools expiration date is September 28, 2021.
If you have students in multiple schools, follow the earliest date.
Students without an approved 2021-2022 application will be expected to pay full price for their meals.
Instructions for Applying Online
CLICK HERE TO APPLY ONLINE
Haga clic aquí para llenar una solicitud
Steps to complete your application for Free and Reduced Meals
For assistance completing this form contact: Nutrition Services at 531-299-0230
"Proper nutrition plays an important role in the success of your student. Omaha Public Schools provides healthy meals to students every school day. Due to the pandemic, the United States Department of Agriculture is providing a waiver for all students to continue to receive breakfast and lunch at no cost for the 2021-22 school year. The completion of the meal application is extremely important as the information may be requested, with the permission of the parent/guardian, for other educational opportunities."
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Why should our household complete a meal application for free/reduced price meals for this year since our student(s) is/are currently receiving meals at no cost for the 2021-22 school year?
If confirmed your free or reduced-price benefit (based on the meal application you submitted this year) will carryover up to 30 operating days into SY2022-23.
P-EBT Benefits: Households may be eligible for Pandemic-EBT benefits through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. P-EBT benefits are based in part on eligibility for Free and Reduced-Price meals.
Fee Waivers and Health Insurance: Student Free and Reduced-Price meal eligibility can be shared with other programs (with parental consent) for the purposes of fee waivers, scholarships, Medicaid and SCHIP.
School Benefits: School districts receives State and local funding based on the number of students eligible for Free and Reduced-Price meals.
Important: All students will continue to receive free meals for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year no matter the outcome of the confirmation of benefits of your household's SY2021-22 meal application.
2. Who can get free or reduced price meals?
All children in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) 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 mails.
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 this chart.
3. Do I need to fill out an application for each child?
No. Complete one Free and Reduced Meal Application for all students in your household and return to your youngest child’s school or complete an online application.
4. Should I fill out an application if I receive a letter this school year saying my children are already approved for free meals?
No, but please read the letter you received carefully and follow the instructions. If any children, in your household, were missing from your eligibility notification, contact Nutrition Services, 531-299-0230, immediately.
5. Can homeless, runaway and migrant children get free meals?
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 Nutrition Services, 531-299-0230.
6. 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 US Citizens to qualify for free or reduced price meals.
7. Will the information I give be checked or verified?
Yes, we may ask you to send written proof of the information you report.
8. How will I be notified of the results of my application?
Upon making application for free or reduced-price meals, the determining official will notify you by a letter sent to your child’s school, of the “Approval” or “Denial”. If you do not agree with the decision, you may discuss it with the determining official. If you wish to review the decision further, you have the right to a fair hearing. This can be done by writing or calling: Nutrition Services Director, 3215 Cuming St, Omaha, Nebraska 68131-2024, or call 531-299-0230.
9. May I reapply if my income changes or is not always the same?
You may apply for meal benefits any time during the school year, if your household size goes up; income goes down, or if you start receiving SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), or FDPIR (Food Distribution on Indian Reservations). If you lose your job, your children may be able to qualify for free or reduced-price meals. To find out how to apply for SNAP or other economic assistance benefits, please go online at ACCESSNebraska.ne.gov or call 1-800-383-4278.
10. What if some household members have no income to report?
Household members may not receive some types of income that we ask you to report on the application, or may not receive income at all. Whenever this happens, please record 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.
11. My child’s application was approved last year for meal benefits. Do I need to fill out another one?
Yes, your child’s application is good only for that school year and for the first few days of this school year. You must send in a new application unless you were notified 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.
12. What if my income is not always the same?
List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally earn $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you make $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.
13. 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.
14. Who should I include as members of my household?
You must include yourself and all people living in your household, related or not (such as children, grandparents, other relatives or friends). List any additional household members on a separate piece of paper, and attach it to your application. Contact Nutrition Services, 3215 Cuming St. Omaha, NE 68131-2024, 531-299-0230, to receive a second application.
15. 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 an application.
16. Can I apply online?
You are encouraged to complete an online application instead of a paper application. The online application has the same requirements and will ask you for the same information as the paper application. Visit https://schoolcafe.com to begin or learn more about the online application process. Contact Nutrition Services, 3215 Cuming St. Omaha, NE 68131-2024, 531-299-0230, if you have questions about the online application.
17. My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for?
To find out how to apply for SNAP or other assistance benefits, please go online to ACCESSNebraska.ne.gov or call 1-800-383-4278.
Falsifying an application may result in loss of meal benefits and prosecution of adult signee.
If you have any questions or need help, please feel free to contact Nutrition Services 531-299-0230.
Non-Discrimination Statement: This explains what to do if you believe you have been treated unfairly.
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. Individual 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 How to File a Complaint, 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: email@example.com
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.