Sophmore Desert Vista student Marisa Baker sings and plays guitar during "Lunch on the Lawn" at Kyrene De Los Cerritos Elementary School on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. "Lunch on the Lawn" is an event where family members are invited to have lunch with students while the Desert Vista Choir performs.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

The Kyrene School District recently announced its free and reduced meal policy for its students under the National School Lunch Program, USDA School Foods Program and School Breakfast Program.

According to the Kyrene website, children may qualify for free or reduced meals if their household received benefits or if the children meet certain requirements which include: the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR); homeless, migrant or runaway as defined by law, enrolled in an eligible head start, even start or pre-kindergarten class as defined by law or foster children who are the legal responsibility of a welfare agency or court regardless of the income of the household.

For the 2014-15 school year breakfast is $1, lunch at all elementary schools is $2.50 and lunch at all middle schools is $2.65.

If a student qualifies for reduced meals breakfast is 30 cents and lunch is 40 cents.

Amanda Nosbisch, prevention manager for Kyrene School District, said it was common at the Kyrene Family Resource Center to ask every family if they had ever applied for free and reduced meals.

“This allows us to check-in with a family who may not be aware of the federally funded program or who may not have applied for other reasons,” she said. “Answering questions about the Free and Reduced Lunch Program, providing the application and assistance completing the form are standard practice for staff at the Kyrene Family Resource Center.”

Students may also qualify for free or reduced meals if a household member becomes unemployed or if their household size increases.

“Overall, In Arizona one in four children are living in poverty, according to Federal Guidelines. In Kyrene School District 1 in 4 children are “food insecure,” meaning they cannot predict regular meals or regularly miss a meal,” Nosbisch said. “Arizona is tied for worst state in the U.S. when it comes to child hunger.”

Parents who are interested in applying for free or reduced-price meals can fill out the application, which is available in English and Spanish, and return it to the school’s office.

Applications are being sent to families, but can also be picked up at each school office, at the Kyrene District Office and on the Kyrene website.

For additional information about the free or reduced-price meals, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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