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Newport Independent - Newport, AR
  • Finding out if your family is eligible for free school lunches

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  • The start of a new school year is a good time to check out financial support programs available to school-age children. Think you donít qualify? The income maximums may be higher than you expect.
    National School Lunch ProgramFree or reduced-price lunches are available to students under 18 years old. Children from families earning 130 percent of the poverty level ($29,055 for a family of four) are eligible for free lunches. Students from families with incomes between 130 and 185 percent of poverty level (185 percent is $41,348 for a family of four) are eligible for reduced-price lunches, which can cost no more than 40 cents.
    Enrollment is open year-round, so a family can apply during the school year if there has been a sudden loss of income, such as a family member losing a job.
    For more information, visit www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/lunch.
    Subsidized Health Care for ChildrenYour child or teen may qualify for no-cost or low-cost health insurance through the Childrenís Health Insurance Program. Many states offer benefits to families making up to 200 of the poverty level, which is about $45,000 for a family of four.
    Health insurance for children is needed for regular checkups and preventive care, as well as prescriptions and emergency treatment.
    For more information, visit www.insurekidsnow.gov.
    Saimi Bergmann writes for the Canton (Ohio) Repository.
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