Free & Reduced Price Meals
Households are encouraged to apply for free or reduced-price meal benefits via Payschools Central. Paper copies of the application can be obtained at the Sycamore District Office building, in the office of your student's school, or by following the links below.
Eligibility for free and reduced-price meals is based on federal income guidelines or participation in programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Ohio Works First (OWF).
As of the 2023-2024 school year, the state of Ohio has elected to participate in two new programs to help better support the needs of it's students. The Medicaid Direct Certification Program allows households receiving Medicaid with income that does not exceed the Income Eligibility Standards of the National School Lunch Program, to automatically qualify for free or reduced-price school meals for their school-age children. The Reduced-Price Meal Waiver Program enables all families that apply and qualify for Reduced-Priced Meals to now be provided meals at no-cost, where previously they were provided at $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch. Families that apply and qualify for Free Meals will continue to receive meals at no-cost.
Only one application will need to be filled out per family. Factors considered in the application process are household size and total household income. HOUSEHOLD SIZE includes all persons, related or unrelated: Including parents, children, grandparents who live in your home and share living expenses. The TOTAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME is the income each household member received last month before taxes - this includes wages, social security, pension, unemployment, welfare, child support, alimony, and any other cash income.
Foster children are categorically eligible for free meal benefits. An application is not needed yet there does need to be documentation of status by a state or local entity familiar with the child's status. Foster children may be included in the household application as part of the household size.
For additional information concerning the National School Breakfast or Lunch Program, please see the U.S. Department of Agriculture school lunch question and answer web page.
Sycamore Child Nutrition offers an online application option. This allows you to find out whether you qualify or not instantaneously. Turn around time for the paper application can be up to 10 days, so we highly recommend applying online versus the paper application.
Every application needs to be completed and turned into the Child Nutrition Office, located at the District Offices - 5959 Hagewa Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 or into the school office.
If you forgot to select fee waivers, changed your mind regarding fee waivers, or were pre-approved for free meals through the Direct Certification Process and need to submit your waiver letter, please fill out the Authorization to Share Information with Other Programs Form and return to the Child Nutrition Services Department. If you are participating in any extracurricular activities (ie. Athletics or Performing Arts) please also fill out the Performing Arts Program and Athletic Program Fee Form and turn this into your coach or advisor.