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New State Guidelines Set for Free or Reduced Lunch

Michigan families with an annual income of $14,521 or less qualify for free or reduced lunch, according to the Michigan Department of Education.

The Michigan Department of Education has released its latest household income guidelines for free or reduced lunch and free milk for Michigan families – including those in the Dearborn Public Schools district.

In Dearborn, .

The guidelines were established by the United States Department of Agriculture and apply to school districts throughout Michigan.

The income guidelines are effective from July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013.

Here are the scales for free meals or free milk and reduced price meals provided by the Michigan Department of Education:

Free Meals or Free Milk

Total Family Size Annual Income 1

$14,521

2

$19,669

3

$24,817

4

$29,965

5

$35,113

6

$40,261

7

$45,409

8

$50,557

*For each additional family member add $5,148.

Reduced Price Meals

Total Family Size Annual Income 1

$20,665

2

$27,991

3

$35,317

4

$42,643

5

$49,969

6

$57,295

7

$64,621

8

$71,947

* For each additional family member add $7,326.

Participating schools, child care centers, and family day care home sponsors will provide a form for applying for free or reduced price meals. Only one application is required per household. Most participating centers and all participating family child care homes provide meals to all enrolled participants without any separate charge.

Children or foster children who are recipients of Michigan’s Family Independence Program, Food Assistance Program, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, or who are enrolled in Head Start, Even Start, an At-Risk afterschool center, or an emergency shelter automatically qualify for free meals.

For more information on eligibility and enrollment in Dearborn Public Schools, call the Business Services Department at 313-827-3018.

Bruce August 20, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Or if they work for cash and don't claim the income on their tax returns. Or mom and dad file separate and claim to not live together. Watch the parking lots of your local school and check out the automobiles the free and reduced lunch families are driving... Or the houses they own outright... Want to fix the US and Michigan budget, TIGHTEN THE REINS ON GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE and actually VERIFY the participants. I see people almost daily using more then 1 bridge card. Or using them at the party store.
Cruisma August 20, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Bruce - I agree 100%!! It is amazing what you see if you keep your eyes open. The other day at Meijer a woman had 6 - count them - 6 Bridge Cards in her wallet. She said she each of her kids & husband get one, all living in the same house. Her response was "no one told us we couldn't". I asked if anyone was working & she actually said - "Why should we?". This was as her kids were on their I-Phones and wearing "Pink" (Victoria Secret) jeans. As I followed her out, she got in a new Cadillac SUV. They really need an audit procedure.
Jeanine August 20, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Amen!!!
Lee Jacobsen August 20, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Go one more step and apply a Drug test requirement to the families getting aid. This is no big deal, low cost, and done as a work requirement all the time. If parents can afford to buy and use drugs, they can afford to provide lunch for their kids and don't need my tax dollar help.
Lee Jacobsen August 20, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Go one more step and apply a Drug test requirement to the families getting aid. This is no big deal, low cost, and done as a work requirement all the time. If parents can afford to buy and use drugs, they can afford to provide lunch for their kids and don't need my tax dollar help.
Donna Hay August 20, 2012 at 07:48 PM
If people are receiving food stamps or Bridge Card benefits why can they buy bread, peanut butter, jelly, lunch meat, fruit cups, drink, etc?? I have heard the kids say that the kids that get 'free lunches' turn around and BUY snacks. Something very very wrong with this entire system and I don't see it getting fixed anytime in the future.
Lee Jacobsen August 20, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Donna, how do the kids buy unhealthy snacks? Only Federally approved snacks and foods are supposed to be available, such as fruits, rasins etc.
karen naim August 20, 2012 at 07:58 PM
ok, how about this. Mom and Dad have lost their jobs to downsizing in the companies. They both work minimum wage jobs to pay the bills and keep a roof over their families heads, they have lost their health insurance and now qualify for state medical insurance for their children, not for them as most adults don't qualify. The bonus? is that since they qualify for state insurance, their kids automatically qualify for free lunches. Since we don't know who these people are, and it's not our business to ask, should we just assume that they are cheating the system???? I think not! I understand that welfare is a hot issue and that most who truly deserve don't receive, however, it's so unfair of us to just attack all. Have we become so suspicious that we would begrudge a child a meal????
laplateau August 20, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Any kid can get the free lunches..there is NO verification asked for or given. They have the parents simply submit a form asking for the free meals. It is a VERY common site to see many of these kids go through the serving line and dump all the food except for the cookie or other sweet given them. It's disgusting! All of us are paying for it too. And, have you noticed that free meals are given away at our public parks throughout the summer. Those are government sponsored too. Gee, I wonder why our taxes alway go UP?
Lee Jacobsen August 20, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Karen, how about this? Give the kid a card that can be scanned in the cafeteria, and have it only good for the lunch program. That way, only the kid gets the benefit, and no cash is floating around. Drug testing would still be a good idea, it is too easy to qualify for the lunches.....again, if they can afford to buy and use drugs, they can afford to buy their kid lunch.
karen naim August 20, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Lee, in dearborn public schools, they have lunch cards which are scanned each time a child gets a lunch. I assure you and everyone else here that no extra snacks are available with that lunch card. If a child has the money to purchase a snack, then they may. We can't fix the way the government decides who is eligible, we can however, make sure that every child who is needy, gets fed. I agree with you about drug testing. Sadly, most who use drugs that have children don't care if their kids eat or not. But again, I would rather err on the side of giving it away than think even one who needs, goes without :)
karen naim August 20, 2012 at 08:40 PM
The summer free lunch program is part of a study conducted by the state of michigan along with the USDA. For instance, if it is available at summer-stephens park, it is because there are enough households in that area that qualify for assistance.
Moe August 20, 2012 at 10:59 PM
There is an incentive to give out as many free lunches as you can, that is one way the feds determine how much federal money the schools get.
Pam August 20, 2012 at 11:20 PM
You are prepared to let the kids of drug positive parents starve? Or pay more taxes to institutionalize them after you take them from their parents? What does the issue of drug testing adults have to do with the topic of subsidized lunches served in schools?
Frank Lee August 21, 2012 at 01:54 AM
All school lunches should be free. Are we really that screwed up that we are arguing about kids getting free food and nobody is talking about how wall St controls the political process. Nobody is suggesting drug testing wall St bankers who destroyed the entire economy by selling and trading AAA rated derivatives that were worthless. This is more authoritarian, I hate my neighbor nonsense. I mean this entire I saw someone use food stamps drive a new car story is old. How about the AIG bankers that got multimillion dollar bonuses with public money. I guess some people would rather attack women and children than look at the real issues
Gilda Tamburro August 21, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Karen, how can a child have money to purchase a snack, yet no money to buy lunch? I come from a family of 6 kids. Both parents worked to pay the bills and put food on the table. No free lunch when I attended Dearborn Schools. Remember, there is no such thing as "free" this and "free" that. It all comes from tax payer dollars. I live by Wm Ford school. Guess what, I don't see any walkers. All are being picked up by women driving late model cars. Where's the money coming from? No one is advocating not to feed the hungry. But when you have 65% of school children in Dearborn on a lunch program, something is not right.
Gilda Tamburro August 21, 2012 at 03:15 AM
This is not about women or children. This is about a process that is broke.
Frank Lee August 21, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Children getting school lunches provided for no cost to the student is not a broken process. It is exactly what should happen. People are so weak minded and afraid of authority they would rather attack their neighbor than the actual individuals, politicians and corporations ripping off the government. This is the richest country in the history of the world a few kids getting free lunches is not even the least of our problems. I guess our bloated government is bleeding red ink because of the school lunch programs and not stupid tax cuts to politically well connected individuals and corporations, I guess the military budget that is larger than the next 11 countries combined does not contribute to our overspending. Yes attack children but never question the military, department of homeland security or Wall St bankers. It is a shame the same people on this site turn out the same garbage day after day. Keep drinking the Kool Aid and playing victim. Because nothing says victim like being a hard working white Christian.
Lee Jacobsen August 21, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Frank, our govt is bleeding red ink due to Obama's spending frenzy, which has reached trillions, and is continuing unchecked. Obama can't even get a vote from his own party on his budget, which probably contains free lunches for all his friends. How much does it cost Dearborn to provide a free lunch ..gov't style to the kids ? It appears that the govt is forcing cities to offer free lunches, so what's the bill.? Is it that hard to put together a lunch for your kid? Frank, folk obviously see a way to make a free buck, and not bother making a lunch for their kid. That's their choice, but it should not be out of the taxpayer's pocket. Lee
karen naim August 21, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Gilda, I don't know where the money comes from. Not my business to know either! Just assuring Lee and the others that there are no extras given with the "free lunch card". If indeed the women are driving late model cars as you say, then what is the problem? Would we be suspicious if they were driving "new models"??? I think I know where that might have been going, so I will just pass on that! Bottom line, with all that we spend on useless things, is a stricter free lunch program going to make a difference? No, it's not. I pay taxes, I work hard to raise my kids and to keep my home, if some of my tax dollars are going to feed a kid lunch, who was qualified for that program, then so be it. I would rather feed a kid than spend my dollars looking for "weapons of mass destruction" that don't exist!!!!!!!
AbuHak August 23, 2012 at 02:49 AM
The school will not intervene to verify or stop free lunch abuse as the school can qualify as a Title 1 school due to a large student population receiving free or reduced price lunch and then they receive additional money from the Feds. So, everyone is in on taking advantage of the system. The funny thing is that the lunches are overpriced ($4.50), not really nutritious or filling, and mostly disgusting.
Gilda Tamburro August 23, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Karen, late model car and new model car are the same thing. Late model car is not an old car. With that being said, let's not beat up on our government. Without them, there would be no programs.
Gilda Tamburro August 23, 2012 at 04:03 AM
I did not know about Title 1. Typically anything that is federally funded, be it lunch or buying a hammer and nails, tend to be overpriced.
T.P.F. August 23, 2012 at 05:08 AM
If I want to pay for a childs lunch I will have a child and pay for the lunch! Nobody is saying the kids who truly need assistance should not receive it, however I find it hard to believe that 70% of the families in Dearborn can not afford lunches for their children.
Lee Jacobsen August 23, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Abu, The Federal Gov has pretty strict standards on food quality, including calorie content, nutrition, etc. Some kids may find that apple pieces are 'disgusting', but what if they are MI apples? Overpriced? Government run? They go hand in hand. The Federal register has the details..... http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-26/pdf/2012-1010.pdf
nino August 23, 2012 at 07:41 PM
maybe we should not talk about the free food that government is providing to kids, needy or not, maybe we should talk about the money the parents would save to use when their kids go to college. With the college tuition getting higher every year, our government should be ashamed. Look at canada where everything almost free, medical and education. Colleges cost for NON RESIDENTS 30% less then what a U.S, resident pay for college. Every family who have kids, wealthy or not , would get monthly allocation for the kids. Maybe we should see this as the bigger problem not the free school lunch that the government has the money to pay for.
Nickel September 04, 2012 at 10:41 AM
forget the income guidelines to determine if one is eligible for free or reduced lunch. If the family can afford to have a cell phone plan, a membership at the gym, cable TV or any other perk, then they are not eligible for a free lunch. Look in the east end of Dearborn, practically every house has a television dish. REALLY? If these families can afford perks, then pay for your kids meals too. Based on the number of kids on free or reduced lunch, Dearborn has to be one of the poorest cities around. Our house values should be dropping dramatically.
Charles L Walls September 04, 2012 at 10:49 AM
Yes...maybe mayor O'Reilly and the other minority activists should work harder to secure even more federal assistance for low income people. That way we can attract more of them to Dearborn so that our property values can get down to the point where we hardly have to pay any property taxes at all! Then the city can sponge off the federal govt for 100% of its income, and we can truly compete with Detroit for blight housing.
Nickel September 05, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Agree Charles. Well said
Tanda October 04, 2012 at 04:47 AM
I agree! I do not receive any assistance from the government (because I make too much money) which is bs, after paying $2.35 a day for lunch for my child, the person getting the free or reduced lunch AND a bridge card is living better than me!

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