Return to Headlines

SISD 2021-2022 online meal application available August 20; district continues to provide free breakfast, lunch

Student with meal

The Socorro Independent School District is committed to offering delicious and nutritious breakfasts and lunches for all students to support their academic success. The SISD Child Nutrition Services department ensures all meals are balanced, meet federal and state standards, and options are provided to offer students the meals they enjoy with the nutrition they need to excel in the classroom.

For the 2021-2022 school year, all students in Socorro ISD will be able to eat breakfast and lunch at no cost. With that, the district encourages all households of students at non-Community Eligibility Provision schools (see below) to complete a 2021-2022 meal application. While breakfast and lunch are free for all students this year, other benefits for our children and community are tied to the meal application completion. Applications for free and reduced-priced meals in Team SISD for the 2021-2022 school year will be accepted online beginning August 20, 2021, at www.sisd.net/mealapplication.

One benefit that households may be eligible for is the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) Program. The meal application process is a tool for school districts to assist families in obtaining P-EBT benefits that they may be eligible for.

A second benefit is that the collection of meal applications in the 2021-2022 school year will provide the district with information that may allow the Department of Child Nutrition Services to qualify and designate additional campuses as Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools where all students eat breakfast and lunch at no cost with no meal application necessary for the 2022-2023 school year. The district currently has 26 CEP-designated campuses where households are not required to fill out the meal application for free and reduced breakfast and lunch. SISD would like to have the opportunity to serve more students in the CEP program in the next school year and in subsequent school years.

Current CEP schools include Benito Martinez, Campestre, Robert R. Rojas, Elfida P. Chavez, Escontrias Early Childhood Center, Escontrias, H.D. Hilley, Hueco, KEYS Elementary, Mission Ridge, Myrtle Cooper, O’Shea Keleher, Purple Heart, Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco, Sierra Vista, and Vista del Sol elementary schools; Desert Wind, Ernesto Serna, Bill Sybert, and Jane A. Hambric K-8 schools; Capt. Walter E. Clarke, Hurshel Antwine, Salvador H. Sanchez, and Socorro middle schools; KEYS Academy, and Options High School.

The online application process, which opens online on August 20, 2021 at www.sisd.net/mealapplication, offers families an easy, quick, and efficient way to complete the necessary form. For more information or questions about the online meal application, call (915) 937-0450. If needed, online applications can be completed by using computers in the Child Nutrition Services Office at 12100 Eastlake Blvd., the District Service Center at 12440 Rojas Drive, and at all schools districtwide.

While no application or eligibility determination is required for your student to receive free meals this school year, income eligibility requirements will likely resume in the 2022-2023 school year. As such, Socorro ISD will process household applications during School Year 2021-2022 to ensure student eligibility for free or reduced-price meals during the first 30 days of the 2022-2023 school year while 2022-2023 applications are being processed. Each school/site or the CNS office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed upon request.

Additionally, SISD parents and guardians may use the Meal Viewer app to view school breakfast and lunch menus and obtain the nutritional values of the specific food items. The Meal Viewer app is available for free download from the App Store or Google Play.

The MySchoolBucks app remains available for SISD parent and guardians to add money to their child’s account with respect to the purchase of a la carte items that are additional to the free breakfast and lunch that is provided.

SISD provides free and reduced-price meals for children who qualify under the attached current income eligibility guidelines at non-CEP schools, with the exception of the 2021-2022 school year where there is no cost. (www.squaremeals.org/Publications/IncomeEligibilityGuidelines.aspx). Each SISD school and the District Education Center has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by anyone on request.

Criteria for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits to Start School Year 2022-2023

The following criteria will be used to determine a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meal benefits:

Income

1.     Household income that is at or below the income eligibility levels

Categorical or Automatic Eligibility

2.     Household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

Program Participant

3.     Child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant, or displaced by a declared disaster

Income Eligibility

For those households that qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on income, an adult in the household must fill out a free and reduced-price meal application online. For more information, contact Frances Castillo, CNS Specialist, 12100 Eastlake Blvd., El Paso, Texas, 79928, 915-937-0450. Those individuals filling out the application will need to provide the following information:

1.     Names of all household members

2.     Amount, frequency, and source of current income for each household member

3.     Last 4 digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application or, if the adult does not have a social security number, check the box for “No Social Security number”

4.     Signature of an adult household member attesting that the information provided is correct

Categorical or Program Eligibility

The SISD Department of Child Nutrition Services is working with local agencies to identify all children who are categorically and program eligible. The SISD Department of Child Nutrition Services will notify the households of these children that they do not need to complete an application. Any household that does not receive a letter and feels it should have should contact Frances Castillo, CNS Specialist, 12100 Eastlake Blvd., El Paso, Texas, 79928, 915-937-0450.

Any household that wishes to decline benefits should contact Frances Castillo, CNS Specialist, 12100 Eastlake Blvd., El Paso, Texas, 79928, 915-937-0450.

Applications may be submitted anytime during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility. Applications may also be verified by the school officials at any time during the school year.

Determining Eligibility

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, Frances Castillo, CNS Specialist, will review applications and determine eligibility. Households dissatisfied with the Reviewing Official’s eligibility determination may wish to discuss the decision with the Reviewing Official on an informal basis. Households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either orally or in writing to Shelley Chenausky, Director of Child Nutrition Services, 12100 Eastlake Blvd., El Paso, Texas, 79928, 915-937-0450.

Unexpected Circumstances

If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below the attached current income eligibility guidelines.

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. Individuals 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 at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and 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: program.intake@usda.gov. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

 

Published August 20, 2021

Strategic Direction: College and Career Readiness