Free & Reduced Information

Free and Reduced Meal applications for the 2018-2019 school year will be mailed by August 1, 2018.

If you don't receive an application, you can print and fill one out from below, stop at any school as they have applications or stop at the Gering Public Schools Central Office (1519 10th Street) and fill one out.

Children need healthy meals to learn. Gering Public Schools offers healthy meals every school day. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced-price meals.

If your child(ren) qualified for free or reduced-price meals at the end of last school year, you must submit a new application by September 20, 2018, in order to avoid an interruption in meal benefits.

Application: English | Spanish

 

Frequently asked questions and answers

  1. 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 who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.
    • 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.
  2. 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 Tim Meisner at 308-436-3125. 
  3. DO I NEED TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION FOR EACH CHILD?  No.  Use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in your household, even if they attend different schools in the GPS district.  We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information.  Return the completed application to: Nutrition Services, Gering Public Schools, 1519 10th Street, Gering, NE  69341.
  4. 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 got carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household were missing from your eligibility notification, contact Nutrition Service Office at 308-436-3125 immediately.
  5. 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 school year. You must send in a new application unless the school told you that your child is eligible for the new school year.
  6. 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.
  7. WILL THE INFORMATION I PROVIDE BE CHECKED?  Yes. We may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report.
  8. IF I DON'T QUALIFY NOW, MAY I REAPPLY 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 and reduced price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.
  9. WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE SCHOOL'S DECISION ABOUT MY APPLICATION?  You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to: Tim Meisner, Director of Business Services, Gering Public Schools, 1519 10th Street, Gering, NE  69341.
  10. MAY I APPLY IF SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD IS NOT A US CITIZEN?  Yes. You, your children, or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply for free or reduced price meals.
  11. WHAT IF MY INCOME IS NOT ALWAYS THE SAME?  List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $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.
  12. 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.
  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. WHAT IF THERE ISN'T ENOUGH SPACE ON THE APPLICATION FOR MY FAMILY?  List any additional household members on a separate piece of paper, and attach it to your application.
  15. MY FAMILY NEEDS MORE HELP.  ARE THERE OTHER PROGRAMS WE MIGHT APPLY FOR?  To find out how to apply for other assistance benefits, please go online to ACCESSNebraska.ne.gov or call 1-800-383-4278.

Instructions for Completing the Free & Reduced Priced School Meals Family Application

If your household receives benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), follow these instructions:

  • Part 1: List each child's name, the school they attend and their grade.
  • Part 2: Enter household's Master Case Number if the household qualifies for SNAP, TANF or FDPIR.
  • Part 3: Skip this part.
  • Part 4: Sign the form. The last four digits of a Social Security Number do not need to be reported.
  • Part 5: Answer this question if you choose to.

If you are applying for a FOSTER CHILD, follow these instructions:

If all children in the household are foster children:

  • Part 1: List all foster children, the school they attend and their grade. Check the box indicating the child is a foster child.
  • Part 2: Skip this part.
  • Part 3: Skip this part.
  • Part 4: Sign the form. The last four digits of a Social Security Number do not need to be reported.
  • Part 5: Answer this question if you choose to.

If some of the children in the household are foster children:

  • Part 1: List all children, including foster children, the school they attend and their grade. Check the box if the child is a foster child.
  • Part 2: If the household does not have a Master Case Number, skip this part.
  • Part 3: Follow these instructions to report total household income from last month.
    • Column 1 – Household Names: List the first and last name of each person living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives or friends) who share income and expenses. Attach another sheet of paper if necessary.
    • Column 2 - Gross Income and How Often it was Received: For each household member, list each type of income received for the month. You must also report how often the money is received – weekly, every other week, twice a month, or monthly.
    • Column 3–Check if NO income: If the person does not have any income, check this box.
  • Part 4: An adult household member must sign the form and list the last four digits of their Social Security Number OR mark the box if he/she doesn't have one.
  • Part 5: Answer this question if you choose to.

For ALL OTHER HOUSEHOLDS, including WIC households, follow these instructions:

  • Part 1: List all children, including foster children, the school they attend and their grade. Check the box if the child is a foster child.
  • Part 2: If the household does not have a Master Case Number, skip this part.
  • Part 3: Follow these instructions to report total household income from last month.
    • Column 1 – Household Names: List the first and last name of each person living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives or friends) who share income and expenses. Attach another sheet of paper if necessary.
    • Column 2 - Gross Income and How Often it was Received: For each household member, list each type of income received for the month. You must also report how often the money is received – weekly, every other week, twice a month, or monthly.

Earnings from Work: For earnings, be sure to list the gross income, not the take-home pay. Gross income is the amount earned before taxes and other deductions. You should be able to find it on your pay stub or your boss can tell you. List salary, wages, cash bonuses and strike benefits. For individuals who are self-employed, report income after expenses from business, farm or rental property. If you are in the military, list basic pay, cash bonuses, allowances for off-base housing, food and clothing. Do not include combat pay, Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA) payments or privatized housing allowances. Finally, do not include income from SNAP, FDPIR, WIC, Federal education benefits and foster payments received by the family from the placing agency.

Public Assistance/Child Support/Alimony: list unemployment benefits, worker's compensation, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), cash assistance from state or local government, Veteran's benefits (VA benefits), child support payments and alimony payments.

Pensions/Retirement/All Other Income: list Social Security payments (including railroad retirement and black lung benefits), private pensions or disability, income from trusts or estates, annuities, investment income, earned interest, rental income and regular cash payments received from outside the household.

If you have no income, write "0" or leave the income field blank. If you do this, you are certifying there is no income to report.

  • Part 4: An adult household member must sign the form and list the last four digits of their Social Security Number OR mark the box if he/she doesn't have one.
  • Part 5: Answer this question if you choose to.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at .

 

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing 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."

 

Note: As stated above, all protected bases do not apply to all programs. The first six protected bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability and sex are the six protected bases for applicants and recipients of the Child Nutrition Programs.

 

Gering Public Schools
1519 10th Street Gering, NE 69341
Phone: 308-436-3125
Fax: 308-436-4301