Breakfast and Lunch Program Denials in Florida

National School Lunch application denials can be disappointing for low-income families to experience. Having a free school breakfast denied is equally as upsetting when trying to meet their child's nutritional needs. The Federal Government established the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program to meet this need by providing food to children who qualified for services. However, these federally funded programs send National School Lunch application denial letters to certain applicants who do not meet the eligibility requirements. Applicants should learn about the school meal program eligibility requirements before appealing a denial. In the event that children had their free school breakfast denied but still meets all these requirements, there are steps available to appeal the decision. To find out more about what to do if after receiving a National school lunch application denial in Florida, review the following topics:

  • School Breakfast and National School Lunch application denials in Florida
  • Why students may have Florida free School Breakfast denied
  • How to appeal a National School Lunch application denial in Florida

School Breakfast and National School Lunch Application Denials in Florida

A student may get a National School Lunch application denial letter if the household does not meet all the eligibility requirements, such as income qualifications. Families will have their free school breakfast denied if they have sufficient income to afford buying full priced school meals. Other causes of National School Lunch application denials are less probable but may include:

  • The student being older than 18 years of age.
  • The student attending a for-profit school or a private school.
  • The child not attending any school and are homeschooled (except homeless, foster and migrant children).
  • The application being incomplete.

Included with a National School Lunch application denial letter is an official notification that includes information on the exact reasons of denial. This notification should also advise parents about reapplying or appealing the decision. Applicants should review the notification to find out how to appeal school meal denials.  

Why Students May Have Florida Free School Breakfast Denied

Many families may have free school breakfast denied to their child even though the student qualifies for the National School Lunch Program. Free school breakfast denied to students may be the result of the school not offering the service. Although the National School Lunch Program is a requirement in all public-run schools, the School Breakfast Program is not. Florida free school breakfast denied to students is primarily due to less than the required percentage of the student population currently receiving free or reduced lunches and, as a result, are not compelled to provide breakfast. Applicants can download our free guide to find out the requirements for school breakfast.

How to Appeal a National School Lunch Application Denial in Florida

After receiving a National School Lunch application denial letter stating incomplete information, the applicant can simply send in the needed data. If applicants had free school breakfast denied based on income, they can reapply if they can show proof of change. The National School Lunch application denial letter indicates specific reasons for rejection from school meal programs as well as how applicants can appeal. To appeal the National School Lunch application denial in Florida, parents typically need to implement the following steps:

  • Contact the official mentioned in the notification letter
  • Schedule an appointment with this official
  • Collect the necessary documents
  • Schedule a hearing to officially provide proof of eligibility

Documents necessary to appeal Florida free school breakfast denied applications serve as an evidence of a financial need in the family. Click here for a list of acceptable documents to use as evidence of financial need. If applicants' household size has grown but the combined income remains the same, they may need to show proof of the increase with birth certificates, adoption papers or furnish Social Security Numbers. A hearing will also reassess the National School Lunch application denial if the household member who contributed most of the household income has lost his or her job, or if anything else occurred that led to the overall decrease of the household income. For this, applicants may need to submit termination letters or the equivalent.

If the child's parents or other household members has begun receiving the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits from the government, the child becomes automatically eligible to obtain free meals at school. Applicant who had free school breakfast denied in Florida can proceed to the appealing procedure described above with the proof of enrollment.

According to the federal law, National School Lunch application denials cannot occur on the grounds of the student's race, national origin, color, religion, gender, genetic information, disability or sexual orientation. In addition, it is against the law to have eligible students eat in separate locations, use special tokens as a means of identification or eat a different meal on the program. Free school breakfast denied to a child based on disciplinary reasons is also illegal.

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What Assistance Benefits Does the Department of Children and Families Provide?

Various assistance benefits are available to residents of Florida through the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Families can receive benefits that allow them to buy nutritious groceries, save money on school lunch for their children and obtain temporary financial assistance. Additionally, petitioners who qualify for one assistance program are also typically eligible for other benefits in Florida. Find out how to qualify for benefits through Florida's DCF and how to apply for them by downloading our comprehensive guide.


Who Can Receive Assistance Benefits in Florida?

Each assistance program offered through Florida's Department of Children and Families has various eligibility qualifications that petitioners must meet in order to enroll. Household size and income are only a few factors that are typically taken into account. For more details on eligibility for Florida DCF assistance programs, download our guide.