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Back to school: Free and reduced-price lunch guidelines | Schools

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Back to school: Free and reduced-price lunch guidelines
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Back to school: Free and reduced-price lunch guidelines

(WXIA) -- Thousands of Georgia students return to the classroom this week, and many of them meet the requirements for free and reduced-price meals during the school day.

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"It is important to provide our students with healthy, nutritious meals to help improve their chances of success and increase their learning opportunities," Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Director Nancy Rice said in a statement. "Research indicates that eating habits affect learning. We want to ensure all our children are well nourished and ready to learn."

Families that qualify for free and reduced-price lunch will get applications from their children's schools.

Students can receive the meals if:

* their families' incomes are within the limits of certain federal guidelines
* their families get SNAP, TANF or WIC benefits
* they are foster children
* they are homeless, runaway, Head Start or migrant children

All information in free meal applications will be thoroughly checked, and families are required to send in written proof of income. Parents whose applications are denied can speak to school officials and, in some cases, ask for a hearing to possibly have the decision reversed.

For more information about program eligibility, contact Theresa Latta or Matoshia Grant.

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