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Why It Is Important to Complete the Free/Reduced Lunch Application

Dear Parent/Guardian,   

I’m writing to let you know how important it is to fill out the school meal application form (provided on this site in English or Spanish) or to complete and submit it online at http://montclair.heartlandapps.com.  

There are three important reasons to fill out this form:  

  • If your child qualifies for free or reduced price lunches, he or she qualifies for free or reduced price breakfasts at school as well.  We want to help your child eat healthy meals at school.

  • Your child may receive other school benefits.  The number of applications that are returned and approved can affect how much funding our schools get to help students meet academic benchmarks, including grant funding for materials like books and computers.  

  • The New Jersey Department of Education uses free or reduced price eligibility percentages in its methodology for determining “peer groups” for school and school district performance reports.  The completeness and accuracy of our free and reduced price eligibility data helps to ensure fairness in performance evaluation across schools and school districts so that our schools receive the support and/or recognition that they deserve and need.  

Some parents are concerned about listing income amounts and social security numbers on the application.  Any personal information you provide will not be shared  

  • Free and reduced price meal applications are confidential.  Your information will be used to determine your child’s eligibility for the school meal programs.  And, pursuant to New Jersey law, unless you opt out using the enclosed form, we will inform Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare if your child may be eligible for free or low-cost health insurance.  We cannot share your information for any other purpose without your written permission.  

  • Students who receive free and reduced price meals are not identified.  No other students, staff, or teachers need to know who is receiving free or reduced meals and who has paid meals.  

Please take a few minutes to fill out the form as your child may qualify for these important benefits.   

Updated: 11/19/2016