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    Free/Reduced Lunch Application

    A new application must be completed each school year. Forms can be turned in at the Metro front desk or emailed to Kathy Fries (fries@themetroschool.org).

    The 2020-2021 Free/Reduced Lunch application packet can be accessed here.

    The 2021-2022 Free/Reduced Lunch application will be available summer of 2021.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Children need healthy meals to learn. Metro Early College offers healthy meals each school day. Breakfast costs $2.00 and lunch costs $3.50. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced-price meals. Reduced price is $.30 for breakfast and $.40 for lunch. This packet includes an application for free or reduced-price meal benefits and detailed instructions. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process.

    1. Who can receive free or reduced-price meals? All children in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Ohio Works First (OWF); foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court; children participating in their school’s Head Start program; and children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals. Also, your children may receive free or reduced-price meals if your household’s income is within the federal income eligibility guidelines limits.
    2. How do I know if my children qualify as homeless, migrant or runaway? If members of your household lack a permanent address; are staying together in a shelter, hotel or other temporary housing arrangement; relocate on a seasonal basis or; children live with you who have chosen to leave their prior family or household then the children may qualify as homeless, migrant or runaway. If you have not been told your children will receive free meals, please call or email Metro Early College c/o Lori Carter at carter@themetroschool.org or 614-259-6639 to see if they qualify.
    3. Do I need to fill out an application for each child? No. Use one application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete. Please submit all required information. Return the completed application to Metro Early College c/o Kathy Fries, 1929 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210, 614-259-6639.
    4. Should I complete an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are approved already for free meals? No, but please read the letter carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household were missing from the eligibility notification, contact Metro Early College c/o Kathy Fries, 1929 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210, 614-259-6639 immediately.
    5. My child’s application was approved last year. Do I need to complete another application? Yes. Your child’s application is valid for that school year and for the start of this school year. You are required to submit a new application unless the school told you that your child is eligible for the new school year.
    6. I receive Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits. Can my child(ren) get free meals? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Please submit a completed application.
    7. Will the information I give be checked? Yes, we also may ask you to send written proof.
    8. If I do not 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 and reduced-price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.

Additional Information:

  1. 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 writing to the following contact person: Meka Pace, 1929 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210.
  2. May I apply if someone else in my household is not a U.S. citizen? Yes. You or your child(ren) do not have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
  3. What if my income is not always the same? List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1,000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, submit the report with the routine amount of $1,000 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.
  4. What if some household members have no income to report? Household members may not receive some types of income that are asked for you to report on the application or may not receive income at all. When this happens, please write a 0 in the corresponding field. However, if any income fields are left empty or blank, those also will be counted as zeroes. Please be careful when leaving income fields blank.
  5. 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, it also must 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 also is excluded from income.
  6. What if there is not 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. Contact Metro Early College c/o Kathy Fries, 1929 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210, 614-259-6639 to receive a second application.
  7. My family needs more help. Are there other programs we might apply for? To find out how to apply for Ohio SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 877-852-0010.

If you have other questions or need help, call 614-259-6639.


    Instructions for Applying

    Please note: A household member is any child or adult living with you.

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    IF YOUR HOUSEHOLD RECEIVES BENEFITS FROM THE SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP) OR OHIO WORKS FIRST (OWF), FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS:

    Part 1: List all household members and the school name and grade level for each child.

    Part 2: List the 7-digit case number for any household member (including adults) receiving SNAP or OWF benefits.

    Part 3: Skip this part.

    Part 4: Skip this part.

    Part 5: Sign the form. The last four digits of a Social Security Number are not necessary.

    Part 6: We are required to ask for information about your children’s race and ethnicity. This information is important and helps to make sure we are fully serving our community. Responding to this section is optional and does not affect your children’s eligibility for free/reduced-price meals.

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    IF NO ONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD RECEIVES SNAP OR OWF BENEFITS AND IF ANY CHILD IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD IS HOMELESS, MIGRANT OR RUNAWAY, FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS:

    Part 1: List all household members and the school name and school grade level for each child.

    Part 2: Skip this part.

    Part 3: If any child you are applying for is homeless, migrant, or a runaway, check the appropriate box and contact Metro Schools, c/o Lori Carter at carter@themetroschool.org or 614-259-6639. If not, skip this part.

    Part 4: Complete only if a child in your household is not eligible under Part 3. See Instructions for All Other Households (below).

    Part 5: Sign the form. The last four digits of a Social Security Number are not necessary if you did not need to complete Part 4.

    Part 6: We are required to ask for information about your children’s race and ethnicity. This information is important and helps to make sure we are fully serving our community. Responding to this section is optional and does not affect your children’s eligibility for free/reduced-price meals.

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    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 and the school name and grade level for each child. Check the box indicating the child is a foster child. 

    Part 2: Skip this part.

    Part 3: Skip this part.

    Part 4: Skip this part.

    Part 5: Sign the form. The last four digits of a Social Security Number are not necessary.

    Part 6: We are required to ask for information about your children’s race and ethnicity. This information is important and helps to make sure we are fully serving our community. Responding to this section is optional and does not affect your children’s eligibility for free/reduced-price meals.

    If some children in the household are foster children:

    Part 1: List all household members and the name of school and grade level for each child. For any person, including children, with no income, you must check the “No Income” box. Check the box if the child is a foster child.

    Part 2: If the household does not have a 7-digit SNAP or OWF case number, skip this part.

    Part 3: If any child you are applying for is homeless, migrant, or a runaway check the appropriate box and contact Metro Schools, c/o Lori Carter at carter@themetroschool.org or 614-259-6639. If not, skip this part.

    Part 4: Follow these instructions to report total household income from this month or last month.

    • Box 1–Name: List all household members with income.
    • Box 2 –Gross Income and how often it was received: For each household member, list each type of income received for the month. Check the appropriate box to note how often the person receives the income. For earnings, list the gross income - not the take-home pay. Gross income is the amount earned before taxes and other deductions and can be found on your pay stubs. For other income, list the amount and check the box to note how often each person received assistance from welfare, child support, alimony, pensions, retirement, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veteran’s benefits (VA benefits), and disability benefits. Under All Other Income, list Worker’s Compensation, unemployment or strike benefits, regular contributions from people who do not live in your household, and any other income. Do not include income from SNAP, FDPIR, WIC, federal education benefits, and foster payments received by the family from the placing agency. For ONLY the self-employed, report income after expenses under Earnings from Work. This is for your business, farm, or rental property. If you are in the Military Privatized Housing Initiative or receive combat pay, do not include these allowances as income.

      Part 5: 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 does not have one).

      Part 6: We are required to ask for information about your children’s race and ethnicity. This information is important and helps to make sure we are fully serving our community. Responding to this section is optional and does not affect your children’s eligibility for free/reduced-price meals.

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      ALL OTHER HOUSEHOLDS (INCLUDING WIC HOUSEHOLDS) FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS:
      Part 1: List all household members and the school name and grade level for each child. For any person, including children, with no income, you must check the “No Income" box.

      Part 2: If the household does not have a SNAP or OWF 7-digit case number, skip this part.

      Part 3: If any child you are applying for is homeless, migrant, or a runaway check the appropriate box and contact Metro Schools, c/o Lori Carter at carter@themetroschool.org or 614-259-6639. If not, skip this part. 

      Part 4: Follow these instructions to report total household income from this month or last month.

      • Box 1 – Name: List all household members with income.
      • Box 2 –Gross Income and how often it was received: For each household member, list each type of income received for the month. Check the box to note how often the person receives the income. 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 and can be found on pay stubs. For other income, list the amount and check the box to note how often each person received assistance from welfare, child support, alimony, pensions, retirement, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veteran’s benefits (VA benefits), and disability benefits. Under All Other Income, list Worker’s Compensation, unemployment or strike benefits, regular contributions from people who do not live in your household and any other income. Do not include income from SNAP, FDPIR, WIC, federal education benefits and foster payments received by the family from the placing agency. For ONLY the self-employed, report income after expenses under Earnings from Work. This is for your business, farm, or rental property. If you are in the Military Privatized Housing Initiative or receive combat pay, do not include these allowances as income.

      Part 5: 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 does not have one).

      Part 6: We are required to ask for information about your children’s race and ethnicity. This information is important and helps to make sure we are fully serving our community. Responding to this section is optional and does not affect your children’s eligibility for free/reduced-price meals.