WPS parents will receive notification of the opportunity to apply for free or reduced price meals if they meet the qualifications. Parents will be able to apply online for free/reduced meals beginning July 18 at https://nutritionapp.usd259.net. Below is the correspondence sent to families.
Children need healthy meals to learn. Wichita Public Schools offers healthy meals every school day. Your child may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Your student is expected to pay full price for meals until the application is processed; you will be notified when your application is approved or denied. Please verify that your mailing address is correct at your child’s school so you can be notified. If you wish to be notified electronically, please provide a valid email on your application. If you do not receive a letter within ten business days, contact Nutrition Services at 316-973-2160.
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 Cynthia Martinez (homeless liaison) at 316-973-4670 or Carolyn Parnell (migrant liaison) at 316-866-8007. You may also contact your child’s school.
Do I need to fill out an application for each child? Use one 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. Please either complete and submit an application online (at https://nutritionapp.usd259.net) or obtain and complete a paper application at your child’s school. If you have already been notified by Nutrition Services that all of your children qualify for free meals in 2016-2017, do not complete an application.
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 received carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household are missing from your eligibility notification, or if you have any questions, please contact Nutrition Services by calling 316-973-2160. Even though you may not need to complete an application, if you want to share your information to receive reduced school fees, refer to question 20 below.
Can I apply online? Yes! You are encouraged to complete an online application instead of a paper application if you are able. The online application has the same requirements and will ask you for the same information as the paper application. Visit https://nutritionapp.usd259.net to complete and submit your online application. Please contact Nutrition Services by calling 316-973-2160 if you have any questions about the online application.
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 new school year, through 10/5/16. Unless you are notified that your child has been directly certified or you submit an application that is approved, the child must pay full price for school meals. The school is not required to send a reminder or notice of expired eligibility when the carry-over period ends.
I get WIC. Can my children get free meals? Students in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please complete an application.
Will the information I give be checked? We may also ask you to send written proof of the information you have provided.
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 or reduced price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.
What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application? Contact Nutrition Services at 316-973-2160. You may also ask for a hearing by calling or writing the Hearing Official: Kenneth Jantz, 201 N. Water, Wichita, KS 67202-1292, 316-973-4678.
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 qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
What if my income is not always the same? List the amount that you normally For example, if you normally make $1,000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1,000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but only if you regularly work overtime. 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 paper application for my family? Simply use a 2nd application, fill in the additional household members and attach it to your application. Paper applications are available at your child’s school.
My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for? Contact the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) 1-888-369-4777 or visit dcf.ks.gov.
How do I apply for free or reduced price meals and ho
w long does this take? Starting July 18th, you may access the USD 259 Nutrition Services Online Application. You can find a link to the application on the district’s online enrollment site, as well as at https://nutritionapp.usd259.net. If you submit an online application, your application will be processed quickly—within two business days after it is submitted (if the student is an existing student). This is a fast, secure, and private way to enter your information. You do not need a special account and your children do not have to already be enrolled to submit the application. If you are planning to go to a school to enroll, you can submit the online application when you complete online enrollment at your child’s school, or you can complete a paper meal application (which are available at all USD 259 schools), and turn it in at the school. For paper applications, the school will send your completed application to Nutrition Services, where it will be processed within 10 business days. After you apply, you will be sent a notification of meal benefits. If you provided a valid email address on your application, you will receive an email to retrieve your student’s status and notification letter, otherwise you will receive a letter in the mail. Until your application is processed, your children will pay full price for meals. If you have questions or need assistance obtaining an application, please call Nutrition Services at 316-973-2160.
What if I receive a status letter from Nutrition Services and not all of my children are listed? Early to mid-July, Nutrition Services will begin mailing letters notifying parents if their students qualify for free/reduced price meals for the school year 2016-17. If you receive a letter, but it does not contain all of the names of your children that will attend Wichita Public Schools, DO NOT complete an application, please call 973-2160 for further instruction. If you have not received a letter and wish to apply for free or reduced-price meals, please complete an online or paper meal application.
How do I pay for meals? Pay for meals quickly and easily online or by phone. Go to MyPaymentsPlus.com (Enrollment and Nutrition Services websites also contain a link) to access the online fee payment system. If you are new to online meal payments, you can set up an account at no cost to you. You can easily add money to your child’s meal account using your credit card, check meal account balances, view meal purchases and payment history, set up low balance reminder emails and set up automatic replenishment of your child’s meal account. If you do not have Internet access, you can call MyPaymentsPlus at 1-866-736-9007 to add money to your child’s account using your credit card.
How do I know if I qualify for reduced school fees?If you want to share your information to receive reduced school fees, you must complete one of the steps below and complete the Consent for Disclosure This will authorize the school to use your meal benefit status to determine which fees you would like to have reduced, for the programs you consent.
As students qualify for meal benefits, parents will receive a notification/letter showing their status for meal benefits. Meal benefit status is used by bookkeepers to determine reduced school fees.
Parents who DO provide a valid email address on their Meal Benefits Application will receive an email link to retrieve their students’ status and notification letter showing their status for meal benefits. This method is new. Parents may show the bookkeeper the status page or the letter electronically on their phone.
- Parents who DON’T provide an email address on their Meal Benefits Application or who’s students directly qualify will receive a letter in the mail showing their status for meal benefits. Parents may show the bookkeeper the letter.
- When a parent completes an Online Application for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits, they can print the Confirmation page and take it to their child’s school where the bookkeeper will determine if they qualify for reduced school fees.
- When a parent completes a Paper Application for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits, they can take the pink portion of the application to their child’s school where the bookkeeper will determine if they qualify for reduced school fees.
- If your child is determined to have reduced meal benefits and step 1-3 have not occurred, the bookkeeper at your child’s school can determine your status after a period of time if you have completed the Consent for Disclosure form (during online enrollment or at your child’s school). There is a delay between meal benefit processing and determination of reduction of school fees.
If you have other questions or need help, call: 316-973-2160.
David Paul, Director