Skip to main content

Use the prototype forms and letters enclosed on the attachments tab to avoid many of these errors.

  • Inappropriate outdated application forms: All SFAs should use New York State’s current English or Spanish application.  For school year 2021-2022, the applications can be found on the Attachments tab . If applications are made available on the school website, be sure to update with the new applications and parent letters each year.
  • Inappropriate headings: The free/reduced price application must include the proper heading which indicates its purpose.  It cannot be labeled as a “reduced fee” application for alternate purposes if it establishes eligibility for free/reduced price meals.
  • Parent letter not included or wrong income scale used: Parents must receive together, the Free and Reduced Price Meal application and the required parent letter (Attachment VII) that includes only the reduced price income eligibility scale.  Parent letters incorrectly containing both income eligibility scales (excluding Special Milk, which requires only the free income eligibility scale), only the free income eligibility scale, or no income eligibility scale jeopardize free and reduced reimbursement to your SFA.
  • Public announcement errors: Many schools fail to send the public announcement each year to the informational media (local newspaper), the local unemployment office, and any major employers contemplating large layoffs in the area. The required income eligibility scales are included in the prototype public announcement (Attachment II).  Please note that this public announcement may not be published on the school’s website.
  • School website issues: Applications on the school website are not kept current each year. Be sure the website is updated with the current application and the current parent letter.  The public announcement which includes both the free and reduced price income eligibility scales may never be posted on the website or in the news feed.

It is essential that you understand there will be no exceptions to these policies.  SFAs that are not in compliance could find their applications for free and reduced price meals disallowed and may incur additional printing, dissemination and approval costs to bring their programs into compliance.

Ensure everyone connected with the application process for free and reduced price meals is fully aware to ensure compliance with all required policies. 

Last updated
June 18, 2021

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

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:, 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:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.

Los demás programas de asistencia nutricional del FNS, las agencias estatales y locales, y sus beneficiarios secundarios, deben publicar el siguiente Aviso de No Discriminación:

De conformidad con la Ley Federal de Derechos Civiles y los reglamentos y políticas de derechos civiles del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE. UU. (USDA, por sus siglas en ingles), se prohíbe que el USDA, sus agencias, oficinas, empleados e instituciones que participan o administran programas del USDA discriminen sobre la base de raza, color, nacionalidad, sexo, discapacidad, edad, o en represalia o venganza por actividades previas de derechos civiles en algún programa o actividad realizados o financiados por el USDA.

Las personas con discapacidades que necesiten medios alternativos para la comunicación de la información del programa (por ejemplo, sistema Braille, letras grandes, cintas de audio, lenguaje de seas americano, etc.), deben ponerse en contacto con la agencia (estatal o local) en la que solicitaron los beneficios. Las personas sordas, con dificultades de audición o discapacidades del habla pueden comunicarse con el USDA por medio del Federal Relay Service [Servicio Federal de Retransmisión] al (800) 877-8339. Además, la información del programa se puede proporcionar en otros idiomas.

Para presentar una denuncia de discriminación, complete el Formulario de Denuncia de Discriminación del Programa del USDA, (AD-3027) que está disponible en linea en: y en cualquier oficina del USDA, o bien escriba una carta dirigida al USDA e incluya en la carta toda la información solicitada en el formulario. Para solicitar una copia del formulario de denuncia, llame al (866) 632-9992. Haga llegar su formulario lleno o carta al USDA por:

(1)     correo: 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; o

(3)     correo electró

Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.