Free & Reduced-Price Meal Assistance

Gahanna-Jefferson Food Services — Helping Students Learn...

A Gahanna-Jefferson elementary student's plate lunch is $2.50; middle/high-school students' plate lunch is $2.75. Breakfast* for all students, K-12 is $1.25. However, if your family is currently eligible or receiving unemployment compensation, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or earning at or below current the USDA National School Lunch Program's income eligibility guidelines, you may qualify for free or reduced-price meals. The reduced price is .30¢ for breakfast and .40¢ for lunch.

Click the link above to download an application. This program was established under the National School Lunch Act of 1946 and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.

Free and Reduced-Price School Meal Program FAQ

Is an application required for each child? No. A single, completed application will suffice for all students in your household. Return this application during your school's designated 2014-2015 fall registration event.

Are applications accepted throughout the school year? Yes. For example, a parent or guardian who becomes unemployed may become eligible if their household income drops below the program limits. If your family's possible eligibility changes during the school year, submit this application to your child's individual Gahanna-Jefferson school office.

Who is eligible for the free or reduced-price-meal program? All children in households having a gross income within the “free limit” or the “reduced price limits” category (respectively) of the Federal Income Eligibility Guideline chart within this application. (Essentially, the same criteria that are applicable to families receiving WIC.) You, nor your children have to be a U.S. citizen to participate. Additionally:

  • Families receiving SNAP and/or Ohio Works First (OWF) are eligible for free student meals, regardless of family income.
  • Foster children are eligible – regardless of household income, if the child remains under the legal responsibility of the foster-care agency or court.
  • Homeless, runaway or migrant children, who meet the predefined criteria of the same, qualify for free meals. Circumstances vary. For more information, please contact GJPS Office of Pupil Services at 614-471-7065.

Is it necessary to complete an application if I recently received a letter from Gahanna-Jefferson that my children are approved for the free meal program? Circumstances vary. Please review the letter carefully for additional instructions. For more information, contact the GJPS Office of Food Services.

My application was approved last year. Is it necessary to complete a new one for this school year? Yes. Each application is only good for the submitted school year. However, there is a grace period that extends into the first few days of the new school year. You must submit a new application unless your child's school has informed you otherwise.

How is a member of my household defined? In addition to your children and yourself, you must include everyone living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends), who share income and expenses. Note: However, do not include those living in the same household whom are economically independent of you (i.e., whom you do not support, who do not share income with you or your children, and who pay a pro-rated share of expenses).

What if my income varies? List the amount typically received. For example, if you normally make $1,000 each month, but missed some work last month and made $900; put down on the application you made $1,000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime occasionally. If you recently lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.

We are a military family. Do we include our housing allowance as income? Yes, if it's an off-base housing allowance. However, if your home is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income.

My spouse is currently deployed to a combat zone. Is his/her combat pay counted as income? Not if the combat pay wasn't received prior to being deployed and is in addition to their traditional payroll income.

My family needs additional help. Are there other programs we should be aware of? To learn more about Ohio SNAP or similar assistance benefits, call the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Telephone Hotline at: 877-852-0010.

What if I disagree with the GJPS decision about my program application? You also may ask for a hearing by calling 614-471-7065 or writing: Mark Williams, GJPS Business Manager, 160 S. Hamilton Road, Gahanna OH. 43230.

Non-Discrimination Statement
In accordance with Federal Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, the Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District 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 Avenue, 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).