Letter to Household (Use the scrollbar to view the entire letter) PRINT



Dear Parent/Guardian:

We are pleased to inform you that Fort Wayne Community Schools is once again participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program through the National School Lunch & Breakfast Programs for the 2018-19 school year. This allows FWCS to provide meals to students in elementary, middle and high schools no cost to families. 

All students enrolled in FWCS elementary schools and middle schools will be able to receive a healthy breakfast and lunch at school at no charge to your household each day of the 2018-19 school year. Your child(ren) will be able to participate in these meal programs without having to pay a fee or submit an application for meal assistance. However, in order to obtain textbook assistance, you must fill out the meal/textbook application at www.fortwayneschools.org/fa or www.incomeform.com or in person at the Nutrition Services Center, 3211 W. Ludwig Road.

Free Textbooks will not be awarded without a completed application. Meal/textbook applications will be available online and at Nutrition Services beginning July 13, 2018.  Families needing assistance for high school students must also fill out the application.

If we can be of any further assistance, please contact us at 260-467-2055.

Candice Hagar, MA, RD, CD
Director Nutrition Services
Fort Wayne Community Schools

Nutrition Services
3211 West Ludwig Rd.   
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46818    
Phone (260) 467-2055   FAX (260) 467-2680        


July 2018
The Fort Wayne Community Schools participates in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.  Nutritious meals are served every school day.  High school students may buy lunch for $1.60 and breakfast for $1.20. Milk is .50.  All meals served must meet nutrition standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  If a child has a disability, as determined by a doctor, and the disability prevents the child from eating the regular school meal, the school will make substitutions prescribed by the doctor.  If a substitution is needed, there will be no extra charge for the meal.  Please note, however, that the school is not required to make a substitution for a food allergy, unless it meets the definition of disability.  Please call the school for further information.

Children from households that meet the following Federal Income guidelines are eligible for free meals or reduced- price meals at 40 cents for lunch and 30 cents for breakfast.

For School Year 2018-2019

Household size Yearly Monthly Weekly
1 $22,459 $1,872 $432
2 $30,451 $2,538 $586
3 $38,443 $3,204 $740
4 $46,435 $3,870 $893
5 $54,427 $4,536 $1,047
6 $62,419 $5,202 $1,201
7 $70,411 $5,868 $1,355
8 $78,403 $6,534 $1,508
For each additional family member, add: $7,992 $666 $154

If your household income is at or below the level shown on the income scale above, your child is eligible for either free or reduced-price meals. To apply for free or reduced-price meals, complete an application as soon as possible. 

   To apply for these benefits you must provide the following information or your application cannot be approved:

• Households getting food stamps, TANF or Medicaid, Some children who are now receiving food stamps or TANF will receive a notification letter stating they are already approved for free meals and textbooks.  If you receive a notification letter stating this automatic approval, do not fill out an application for the child whose name appears on the letter.  Call Nutrition Services for instructions if you have other children not listed on the letter.  Any member of the household who is receiving food stamps and lists their case number make it categorically eligible for all children in the household to receive free benefits.
• Other households.  If you do not have a case number, include the names of everyone who lives in your household.  Include parents, grandparents, all children, other relatives, and unrelated people who live in your household.  List all current income received last month on the same line with the person who received it.  Write the income under the group it belongs in (for example, EARNINGS, WELFARE, PENSIONS, or OTHER) Income is all money before taxes or anything else is taken out.  An adult household member must sign the application and include his or her last 4 of their social security number or check the applicable box if the adult does not have a social security number.

Will information on my application be kept confidential?  We will use the information on your application to decide if your child should get free or reduced-price meals.  We are authorized to inform officials connected with Title I and the National Assessment of Educational Progress whether your child is eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.  They will use this information for funding and/or evaluation purposes.  With your consent the information on your application may also be shared with programs so that you may receive their benefits.  See Other Benefits on the application.

Will the application be verified?  Eligibility may be checked at anytime during the school year.  School officials may ask for proof of income.

I get WIC. Can my child(ren) get free meals? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please fill out an application.

Must I report changes?  The household is no longer required to report changes in circumstances, such as an increase of income, a decrease in household size or when the household is no longer certified eligible for food stamps or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Will my child be discriminated against?  Children who receive free or reduced-price meal benefits are treated the same as children who pay for their meal.  In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.  To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence
Ave., SW, Washington, D.C.  20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice).  Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Can I appeal the school’s decision?  If you do not agree with the school’s decision on your application or the result of verification, discuss it with the school.  You also have the right to a fair hearing.  This can be done by calling or writing the following official:

  Candice Hagar, 3211 West Ludwig Rd., Fort Wayne, IN  46818 (260) 467-2055  

Can I apply for free and reduced price benefits later?  You may apply for benefits at any time during the school year.  If you are not now eligible but have a decrease in household income, become unemployed, or have an increase in household size, fill out an application at that time.

Please submit your application by July 30th in order to have the benefits of free or reduced-price meals on the first day of school. Students that were on the program the previous school year with FWCS will get a 30 day grace period, meaning they will start the school year off with the meal status that they ended with the previous year.  This gives our office time to process the many applications submitted.

You will be notified when the application is approved or denied.



1. I received a letter stating one of my children is automatically approved for free meals & textbooks, does that mean the rest of my kids are free?  Yes.  Please call Nutrition Services at 467-2055 to add the other children to the program.

2. I qualified last school year for free or reduced price meals; do I need to apply this year?  Each school year you need to fill out a new application, unless your child (ren) were pre-approved by the State.  You would have then received a notification letter in the mail.

3. Do I fill out a separate application for each child or each school?  No.  List all FWCS students on the same application.  If your child attends a private school that participates in the FWCS meal program. They can be listed on the same application, make sure you choose the correct school on the drop down list.  There is a 30 day grace period beginning with the first day of school.  The student will remain on last years’ status until an application is submitted.  If no application is turned in, then they will go back to the paid status after the 30 days. 

4. What if I make a different amount of money each month?  You can take an average over 3 or 4 months.

5. If my child changes schools, do I have to reapply?  Not if your child stays within the Fort Wayne Community Schools district.  If you move to another school corporation, follow their instructions.

6. Can migrant, homeless, refugee or runaway children get free meals?  Yes.  Call your school migrant coordinator, Kyra Nolan 260-467-2120, or homeless liaison, Wendy Hoering 260-467-2120 to see if your children qualify.

7. May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen?  Yes.

8. Who should I include as members of my household?  You must include all people living in your household, related or not, (such as grandparents, other relatives or friends) unless it is a temporary living arrangement.

9. Will the information I give be checked?  Yes, we may ask you to send written proof.

10. We are in the military; do we include our housing allowance as income?  If your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income.  All other allowances must be included in your gross income.

11. If my child qualified for free meals in another school corporation or state, is he/she automatically approved for this school corporation?  Only for the first 45 days with proof from the former school district of the student.  Fill out an application for the Fort Wayne Community Schools asap.

12. May I use the number on my Hoosier Works card as the Food Stamp case number?  No.  You must use your current 10 digit Food Stamp Case number beginning with 10.  Contact your case worker if you do not know your number.

13. If I’m divorced and am paying out money each month for child support, can I deduct that from my gross income?  No.  Your gross income is to be reported – before deductions.

14. If I’m self-employed, how do I declare my income?  Use last year’s income as a basis to project your current NET income.  Net income equals your gross income minus business expenses.

15. Is my child eligible for free or reduced meals on the day that I turn in the application?   It takes up to 10 working days to process the application.  Your child will be approved the date the application is received in our office and date stamped.  The quickest way to get approved is to fill your application out on-line.

16. If I don’t qualify now, may I apply again later?  Yes.  You may apply at any time during the school year if your household size goes up, income goes down, or if you start receiving Food Stamps, TANF or Medicaid.  If you lose your job, your children may be able to get free or reduced-priced meals during the time you are unemployed.

17. What if I disagree with the school’s decision about my application?  Talk to school officials and/or ask for a hearing by calling or writing to:

Director – Nutrition Services
3211 West Ludwig Rd.
Fort Wayne, Indiana  46818