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DEC to Host Free Fishing Clinic on Sept. 16 at North-South Lake Campground, Greene County

Written By Editor on 9/13/23 | 9/13/23

DEC to Provide Education and Equipment to Anglers
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is hosting a free fishing clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the North-South Lake Campground in Haines Falls, Greene County, DEC Regional Director Anthony Luisi announced today.

"Free fishing clinics are fun for the entire family and provide special attention to inexperienced anglers of all ages as they're introduced to New York's vast fishing opportunities," Director Luisi said. "North-South Lake is one of DEC's most popular campgrounds and is also a preeminent fishing destination in the Catskills for anglers of all abilities to enjoy."

The event, free to the public, will be held at the hand launch at North Lake Beach (PDF). Fishing licenses are not required to fish during the program, but all other statewide and special regulations remain in effect. During the free fishing clinic, participants can learn about fish identification, fishing equipment and techniques, before getting the opportunity to cast their fishing lines into the water. DEC will supply fishing rods, bait, and tackle, but experienced anglers are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear. Children under 16 must be supervised. Participants will be required to pay applicable day-use service charges to enter the facility.

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ASF to Take Vets Hiking in Final WIM Program of the Season

WINDHAM — The Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF) is set to host its eighth and final Warriors in Motion® (WIM) program of the season next week when it will welcome seven veterans for its hiking event.

The WIM hiking event was originally scheduled for the end of June, but inclement weather forced the foundation to postpone it. Instead, the warriors will be treated to late summer/early fall views of the Northern Catskills.

The Warriors in Motion program provides participating injured United States servicemen and women with a basic knowledge and practice of wellness and the importance of lifelong healthy living. All Warriors in Motion programs are goal-oriented and empower the warrior to take charge of their own fitness and wellness.

U.S. Army Reserve veteran Melissa Lee, who retired from service within the past year, will be making her first trip to Windham, and is excited to see what the program can do for her. “I’m looking forward to the scenery, seeing and interacting with other veterans and just being outside,” Lee said.

The ASF has seven U.S. Military veterans, including Lee, scheduled to visit the Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Foundation on Tuesday afternoon to get their excursion started with a lunch, equipment fitting and basic hiking instruction. From there, the group of vets and volunteers will head to nearby Lexington to ascend the Diamond Notch Trail, a 1.5-mile hike that features the Diamond Notch Falls, providing a nice setting for the week’s first adventure. Once the WIM group finishes the hike, they will check into their hotels and return to ASF for a catered dinner.

The ASF shuttle bus will pick the veterans up at their hotels on Wednesday morning and take them out to Tannersville, where the group will hike to Inspiration Point. Known as one of the Catskills’ greatest lookouts, the hike climbs 820 feet in elevation and a distance of about five miles. This hike will be an all-day affair and the participants will have lunch on the trail. Once everyone takes their photos of the views and returns to the bus, they will be dropped off at their hotels to get ready for another dinner at the ASF lodge.

Day three’s hike will be determined based on how the warriors are feeling after their first two excursions. The group will return to ASF after the morning hike for lunch before the participants depart.

This is Lee’s first time participating in a warrior program, and she’s happy to be a part of it. “This is a great opportunity for me to go and enjoy what I like without people worrying about waiting for me because the other veterans and the volunteers understand what I’m going through,” she explained. “I won’t have to explain myself and I’ll be able to see other people. This will be a safe haven for me.”

The ASF’s Warriors in Motion program is funded by donations that were generously given to the organization. Thanks to these donations, the Adaptive Sports Foundation will be able to provide water bottles, all meals, snacks, water, sports drinks, sunscreen, bug spray, ponchos (if necessary) and trail maps for this upcoming event.

For more information about the Adaptive Sports Foundation’s Warriors in Motion program, or any of the other programs the ASF has to offer, visit

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Orpheus Theatre announces auditions for The Sound of Music!

Written By Editor on 9/12/23 | 9/12/23


The hills are alive with the sound of music! Auditions for The Sound of Music are scheduled for Friday, September 15 at 6:00 PM and Saturday, September 16 at 6:00PM with callbacks on Sunday, September 17 at 6:00 PM at Orpheus Theatre’s rehearsal space at the Southside Mall in Oneonta.


This production will be directed by Allie Tabor-Church & Brian Ziemann with music direction by Karen Clark-Snitchler, choreography by Allie Tabor-Church & Brian Ziemann with stage management by Allie Tabor-Church.


Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes you can move in and prepare a song a song from the show. Additional information and audition song cuts can be found at


The inspirational story, based on the memoir of Maria Augusta Trapp, follows an ebullient postulate who serves as governess to the seven children of the imperious Captain von Trapp, bringing music and joy to the household. But as the forces of Nazism take hold of Austria, Maria and the entire von Trapp family must make a moral decision.


The Sound of Music is presented through special arrangement with Concord Theatricals. All authorized performance materials are also supplied by Concord.


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Orpheus Theatre Presents: Musical Theatre Rave - An Unforgettable Night of Broadway Bliss!


Oneonta, NY – Orpheus Theatre is thrilled to invite all musical theatre enthusiasts, drama geeks, and lovers of the stage to an electrifying event that promises to be the highlight of the year - the Musical Theatre Rave! Get ready to sing, dance, and celebrate the magic of musicals on Friday, September 22, 2023, from 8:30 PM to 10:30 PM.


Event Details:

Date: Friday, September 22, 2023

Time: 8:30 PM - 10:30 PM

Location: Foothills Performing Arts Center Atrium, 123 Main Street, Oneonta, NY


The Musical Theatre Rave is the ultimate party for anyone who has ever belted out showtunes in the shower, dreamed of taking the Broadway stage, or simply found joy in the world of musicals. This spectacular dance party promises an evening of non-stop entertainment and celebration.


Highlights of the Musical Theatre Rave include:


Sing Along to Iconic Showtunes: Get ready to sing your heart out to iconic musical theatre hits. From "Les Misérables" to "The Phantom of the Opera," this event will have all your favorite songs covered.


Dress as Your Favorite Broadway Character: Don your best Broadway-inspired attire and step into the shoes of your favorite musical characters. Whether it's Elphaba, the Phantom, or Hamilton himself, let your imagination run wild!


Dance the Night Away: Dance to the rhythm of showstoppers as you mingle with fellow theatre enthusiasts. This is your chance to showcase your best moves and celebrate the magic of musicals.


Tickets for this unforgettable night are priced at just $10, making it accessible to fans of all ages. A cash bar will be available for those looking to sip on their favorite beverages while they dance the night away. Additionally, attendees can enjoy delectable snacks available by donation.


The Musical Theatre Rave is a part of the Foothills Performing Arts Center Fringe Live Arts Festival, a weekend dedicated to celebrating the arts in all their forms.


Tickets can be purchased at the door or, for added convenience, in advance through the official Foothills Fringe website at Simply click the Friday tickets link to secure your spot at this sensational celebration.


Don't miss your chance to immerse yourself in the world of musical theatre and make lasting memories at the Musical Theatre Rave. Mark your calendars for September 22nd and prepare for a night of pure Broadway bliss!

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SUNY Cobleskill Introduces Bachelor of Science in Fisheries & Aquaculture


COBLESKILL, N.Y. – Heading into the Fall 2023 semester, SUNY Cobleskill is proud to add to its list of agriculture and technology baccalaureate programs a new Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Fisheries & Aquaculture. The degree program replaces the College’s Bachelor of Technology (B.T.) in the same discipline, with the B.S. label placing additional emphasis on the required ecology, chemistry, and biology components of the major.


“The introduction of this Bachelor of Science degree program signifies a heightened commitment to our students in delivering the scientific study and research experiences that will best serve them in tomorrow’s job market,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Darcy Medica. “With this program, we are not only meeting the increasing need for skilled fisheries professionals but also addressing the critical need for sustainable fish production and natural resource management that will keep America’s food system running.”


Aquaculture, the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of animals and plants in all types of water environments, is the fastest growing segment of the agriculture industry. Globally, aquaculture supplies more than 50 percent of all seafood produced for human consumption—and that percentage will continue to rise, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

With the demand of food fish on the rise, aquaculture provides quality protein for public consumption, while at reducing over-fishing of the native species found in our nation’s rivers, lakes and oceans. As a result, a demand has been created 
for a workforce skilled in operating fish hatcheries and biologists trained in fisheries resource management.

SUNY Cobleskill’s Fisheries & 
Aquaculture program gives students a hands-on experience raising brook trout, brown trout, and tiger trout and diverse fisheries management field experiences. Students work in one of the largest and most diverse academic aquaculture facilities in the Northeast, including a 40,000- gallon coldwater hatchery, quarantine hatchery, warm water fish hatchery and earthen grow out ponds.


Graduates leave the program with the necessary skills for entry into careers including NYSDEC Fisheries and Wildlife Technicians, Fish Culturists, Aquatic/Marine/Wildlife Biologists, Ecologists, Forest Rangers, Park Rangers and Environmental Conservation Officers. The degree also offers several graduate pathways including agreements with Kentucky State University, SUNY Buffalo State and SUNY Oneonta’s Master of Science in Lake Management.


Learn more about SUNY Cobleskill’s Fisheries & Aquaculture program and apply at

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Audubon to Host Andy Mason on September 15 - Emptying the Bucket: The Alaska Frontier

Join Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society on Friday, September 15, 2023 at 7:30pm at the Elm Park United Methodist Church in Oneonta, NY for a special program with DOAS Co-President, Andy Mason.

Long time Audubon leader Andy Mason will present a program on his 10 week camping adventure across northern Canada and Alaska in the summer of 2022.  Says Andy, “I can’t remember when I didn’t dream of going to Alaska . . . and time was running out!”  So he set off with his dog in a 17 ft. camper to fulfill the vision.  Traveling through five Canadian provinces and two territories, and crossing the Continental Divide and the Arctic Circle, he experienced remoteness, wildlife, native communities, thawing glaciers, fires, incredible scenery, and the midnight sun.

Land of the Midnight Sun; Photo by Andy Mason.


Andy Mason is a past and present President of DOAS, has served as Chair of the Audubon Council of NY State, and as President of the NY State Ornithological Assoc.  He is a long-time birder who has led workshops for the Appalachian Mountain Club and other groups.  He lives in Oneonta with his wife Gray.


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Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful Celebrates Year of Growth

Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful (KMVB), a six-county NYS affiliate of the national Keep America Beautiful (KAB) program, is celebrating the achievements of the Mohawk Valley’s 22nd annual Great American Cleanup. KMVB is a standing committee of the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, Inc. (MVEDD). 

KAB works to create sustainable communities that are socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound. Their annual cleanup effort is the country’s largest community improvement program. Each Spring, KAB affiliates, like KMVB, engage more than 4 million volunteers in more than 20,000 communities nationwide.

Today, KMVB and Business Machines & Equipment (BME)  hosted a wrap-up event at BME’s Corporate Office at 5 Ann Street in Mohawk, NY to announce the results of the 2023 KMVB Great American Cleanup

This year, KMVB welcomed three new sponsors to the local Great American Cleanup Effort: Standard Insulation Co., BME, and Casella Waste Systems. These sponsors, along with the longstanding support of PJ Green, Inc, Bank of Utica, Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority, Positively Rome, the City of Utica, CABVI, the Genesis Group, Rome Clean & Green, as well as the Otsego, Schoharie, Herkimer and Fulton-Montgomery Chamber of Commerce offices, made this year’s cleanup a great success. 

This year, we saw a surge in youth participation through efforts of local Connected Communities School teams in several school districts throughout the Mohawk Valley. “Getting the kids involved is integral to our goals of the KMVB initiative,” said Samantha Brown, KMVB committee member since 2021. “Littering is a behavior, and when the youth is involved, we can start to change the mindset of our community,” she continued. 

“Every year, our community continues to show up to clean up our public green spaces,” said Stephen Smith, MVEDD Executive Director. Over 3,000 volunteers in 164 teams collected over 2,400 bags of litter from parks, roadways and waterways in Central NY during the months of April, May,  June and July – more than double the number of participants of last year’s clean up event. 

There are environmental and economic costs to litter that negatively impact local wildlife, public drainage systems, road safety and property values. “It is estimated that cleaning up one piece of litter saves a community $0.40. If every KMVB volunteer picked up 50 pieces of litter, this year’s clean up benefitted the Mohawk Valley by over $61,500,” continued Smith. 

If picking up litter is not something you can commit to – there are other ways you can get involved. KMVB supports various recycling and beautification projects in the region. Sam Russo, a KMVB board member, has started five perennial gardens in the Mohawk Valley, and is always looking to partner up with local community groups to build more. “Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful is not only about litter. We want to create spaces that bring people together and inspire a sense of responsibility to keep those spaces clean and beautiful,” says Russo. If you have a community garden, or would like to start one, please contact find out how KMVB can help. 

After the press conference, several members of the KMVB committee and local volunteers made a trip to the Mohawk Community Garden for a final clean up in this year’s event. 

Groups will be able to register for the annual event next Spring on MVEDD’s website, By registering, you will be eligible to receive free materials including gloves, trash bags and other assistance. KMVB encourages any individual or group hosting a cleanup, community garden, recycling or beautification project – new or existing – to register their event. In addition to free materials and resources, registrants will be highlighted for their efforts on the Authority website and KMVB social media platforms.

For more information, or to report a site that needs to be cleaned or rehabilitated, email us at You may also follow KMVB on Facebook (Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful – KMVB) for additional information. To donate funding or materials, call (315) 866-4671. 

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10 Vets Hit the Links at ASF's WIM Golf Event

Written By Editor on 9/11/23 | 9/11/23

WINDHAM, N.Y. – The Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF) hosted its Warriors in Motion® (WIM) golf event this week at Windham Country Club, which included professional golf instruction and course play from Tuesday-Thursday.

“I had a lot of fun this week and I’m sure all of us veterans did as well,” wounded U.S. Air Force veteran and ASF winter volunteer Richard Torres explained. “There was a lot of laughter, a lot of camaraderie and it’s great for us veterans who suffer from various injuries and ailments.”

Torres was one of 10 U.S. Military veterans who arrived at the ASF’s Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Center on Tuesday afternoon to meet with the ASF staff and volunteers and to sit down to a barbecue lunch of burgers, chicken and hot dogs. After the meal, the WIM group made its way to the Windham Country Club’s driving range, where Head PGA Pro Jesse Muller was waiting for them. Muller provided the warriors with basic instruction on how to get the most out of their golf swings and gave tips on every type of club, whether it was the driver or the wedges. The warriors spent a few hours getting their swings in on the driving range before they checked into their hotels. They returned to the ASF lodge for a catered dinner that evening at 6 p.m.

The next day the participants met at the Windham Country Club at 9 a.m. They began their morning at the practice green with Muller teaching the warriors some tips on how to putt and chip around the green. After spending some time putting and chipping, the group returned to the driving range again to get loose and take bigger swings. Once 11:30 came around, the WIM group went into Mulligan’s Pub, Windham Country Club’s restaurant, and enjoyed a lunch and a break from the heat. After the intermission, the warriors and volunteers split up into three groups and played on the course until it was time to return to their hotel rooms to get ready for another dinner at ASF.

The veterans and the volunteers played another round on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. to put their new skills to the test. When 11:30 rolled around, they had another lunch at Mulligan’s Pub before it was time to depart.

“We never expected to be treated like we were here at the Adaptive Sports Foundation up here in Windham,” U.S. Navy Veteran Tony Suozzi said after his round on Thursday morning. “It’s a wonderful thing to come up here and experience the camaraderie with our friends, the professional golfers and the volunteers. They made this a wonderful time. I recommend coming up here to anyone in the military.”

The ASF’s Warriors in Motion program provides participating injured United States servicemen and women with a basic knowledge and practice of wellness and the importance of lifelong healthy living. All WIM programs are goal-oriented and empower the warrior to take charge of their own fitness and wellness.

The next WIM event will take place on September 19-21, when the ASF will take another group of warriors hiking in the mountain ranges of the Northern Catskills. This WIM hiking event was originally scheduled in June, but it was pushed back to this month due to poor weather.

Warriors in Motion is funded by donations that were generously given to the Adaptive Sports Foundation. Thanks to these donations, the Adaptive Sports Foundation will be able to provide equipment, water bottles, all meals, snacks, water, sports drinks, sunscreen, bug spray and ponchos (if necessary) for this upcoming event.

If you’d like to donate to the Adaptive Sports Foundation’s Warriors in Motion program, or any of the other programs the ASF has to offer, please visit

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Want to Retire Early? Read This First.

As a financial advisor, I have seen firsthand how much planning it takes to retire early. Deciding to leave the workforce (and say goodbye to your steady paycheck) earlier than you previously intended to may come with many considerations. If you are intrigued by the idea of retiring early, read on for some suggestions for how to assess if moving your retirement date forward is something within your reach.

  1. Define your dream retirement. A realistic early retirement plan doesn’t happen by chance. It takes careful planning and deliberate action. Before you can figure out how to make early retirement a viable option, take time to envision the kind of life you want to lead when you leave your primary career. Where will you live? What kind of activities do you plan to pursue? These are the types of questions that will help you define what you want your retirement to be like. 

  1. Quantify your goal. Many retirees find they spend more money in the early years of retirement because they have more time to travel and pursue hobbies. If this aligns with your retirement vision, be generous in your estimate of how much money you need each year. Once you have an estimate of how much it will cost, you will be better able to map the steps you’ll need to take to save enough money to fund it. 

  1. Decide which income source to tap into first. Once you know how much your early retirement will cost, you’ll want to line up the order in which you will tap into your investments. How much income you need, the tax treatment of your investments, and the timing of when you’ll take Social Security are all factors to consider as you map out how you will create a paycheck in retirement. 

  1. Adjust your saving and spending today. Once you have a clear idea of how much your dream retirement will cost, you can evaluate the potential tradeoffs and sacrifices necessary to make it happen. This will likely require reducing spending while maximizing the amount you are saving. 

  1. Continue investing for growth. It’s common for retirees to adjust their investment allocation to be more conservative in order to protect their principal from potential market downturns or increased volatility. While this may make sense for some, it’s important for your portfolio to at least keep on pace with inflation. After all, retirement can easily last several decades. Even modest inflation can make a meaningful impact over that timeframe. Factoring inflation into your projections can help you maintain your purchasing power throughout retirement.

  1. Don’t overlook health care expenses. Many retirees are surprised by how much of their budget goes toward medical expenses. Don’t be one of them. Make finding health insurance a top priority. And, consider the pros and cons of purchasing long-term care insurance. 

  1. Be flexible. In life and investing, there are no guarantees. Unexpected events can happen any time, and many have financial implications. Think about what your options are if your savings come up short, such as adjusting your retirement date, spending or perhaps picking up a part-time job, and make sure you have the right insurance in place to cover your various assets. 

Retiring early is a big dream. If you want help deciding if or how moving your retirement date forward is realistic for you, meet with a financial advisor. Together you can review your goals, investments, risk tolerance and other factors to help you make retirement decisions with confidence.


Michael D. Lanuto, CRPC®, AWMA® is a Financial Advisor with S.M. Miller & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. in Albany, NY.  He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 8 years. To contact him: 518-949-2039; 4 Atrium Drive, Ste 200, Albany, NY, 12205;; 

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Written By Editor on 9/6/23 | 9/6/23

The component schools associated with the Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES (Andes, Cooperstown, Edmeston, Schenevus, South Kortright, Windham-Ashland-Jewett and Worcester) today announced a free and reduced-price meal (Free Milk) policy for the children in their respective districts.  

Local school officials have adopted the following family eligibility criteria to assist them in determining eligibility:



Free Eligibility Scale

Reduced Price Eligibility Scale

Free Lunch, Breakfast, Milk

Reduced Price Lunch, Breakfast

Household Size



Twice per Month

Every Two Weeks


Household Size



Twice per Month

Every Two Weeks




$ 1,580 

$ 790

$ 729

$ 365




$ 1,124

$ 1,038

$ 519


$ 25,636 

$ 2,137

$ 1,069

$ 986

$ 493


$ 36,482 

$ 3,041

$ 1,521

$ 1,404

$ 702


$ 32,318 

$ 2,694

$ 1,347

$ 1,243

$ 622


$ 45,991 

$ 3,833

$ 1,917

$ 1,769

$ 885


$ 39,000 

$ 3,250 

$ 1,625

$ 1,500

$ 750


$ 55,500 

$ 4,625 

$ 2,313

$ 2,135

$ 1,068


$ 45,862 

$ 3,807

$ 1,904

$ 1,757

$ 879


$ 65,009 

$ 5,481

$ 2,709

$ 2,501

$ 1,251


$ 52,364 

$ 4,364

$ 2,182

$ 2,014

$ 1,007


$ 74,518 

$ 6,210

$ 3,105

$ 2,867

$ 1,434


$ 59,046

$ 4,921

$ 2,461

$ 2,271

$ 1,136


$ 84,027

$ 7,003

$ 3,502

$ 3,232

$ 1,616


$ 65,728 

$ 5,478

$ 2,739

$ 2,528

$ 1,264 


$ 93,536 

$ 7,795

$ 3,898

$ 3,598

$ 1,799 

Each Add’l person  add

$ 6,682

$ 557

$ 279

$ 257

$ 129

Each Add’l person  add

$ 9,509

$ 793

$ 397

$ 366

$ 183

SNAP/TANF/FDPIR Households: Households that currently include children who receive the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) but who are not found during the Direct Certification Matching Process (DCMP), or households that currently receive Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) must complete an application listing the child's name, a valid SNAP, TANF, or FDPIR case number and the signature of an adult household member. Eligibility for free meal benefits based on participation in SNAP, TANF or FDPIR is extended to all children in the household. When known to the School Food Authority, households will be notified of their children’s eligibility for free meals based on their participation in the SNAP, TANF or the FDPIR programs. No application is necessary if the household was notified by the SFA their children have been directly certified. If the household is not sure if their children have been directly certified, the household should contact the school.

Other Source Categorical Eligibility: When known to the School Food Authority, households will be notified of any child’s eligibility for free meals based on the individual child’s designation as Other Source Categorically Eligible, as defined by law. Children are determined Other Source Categorically Eligible if they are Homeless, Migrant, Runaway, A foster child, or Enrolled in Head Start or an eligible pre-kindergarten program. 

If children or households receive benefits under Assistance Programs or Other Source Categorically Eligible Programs and are not listed on the notice of eligibility and are not notified by the School Food Authority of their free meal benefits, the parent or guardian should contact the school or should submit an income application.

Other Households: Households with income the same or below the amounts listed above for family size may be eligible for and are urged to apply for free and/or reduced-price meals (or free milk).  They may do so by completing the application sent home with the letter to parents. One application for all children in the household should be submitted.  Additional copies are available at the principal's office in each school.  Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year. 

Households notified of their children’s eligibility must contact the School Food Authority if they choose to decline the free meal benefits. Households may apply for benefits at any time throughout the school year. Children of parents or guardians who become unemployed or experience a financial hardship mid-year may become eligible for free and reduced-price meals or free milk at any point during the school year. 

For up to 30 operating days into the new school year (or until a new eligibility determination is made, whichever comes first) an individual child’s free or reduced-price eligibility status from the previous year will continue within the same SFA. When the carryover period ends, unless the household is notified that their children are directly certified or the household submits an application that is approved, the children’s meals must be claimed at the paid rate. Though encouraged to do so, the SFA is not required to send a reminder or a notice of expired eligibility.

The information provided on the application will be confidential and will be used for determining eligibility.  The names and eligibility status of participants may also be used for the allocation of funds to federal education programs such as Title I and National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), State health or State education programs, provided the State agency or local education agency administers the programs, and for federal, State or local means-tested nutrition programs with eligibility standards comparable to the NSLP.  Eligibility information may also be released to programs authorized under the National School Lunch Act (NSLA) or the Child Nutrition Act (CNA).  The release of information to any program or entity not specifically authorized by the NSLA will require a written consent statement from the parent or guardian.

The School Food Authority does, however, have the right to verify at any time during the school year the information on the application.  If a parent does not give the school this information, the child/children will no longer be able to receive free or reduced-price meals (free milk).

Foster children are eligible for free meal benefits.  A separate application for a foster child is no longer necessary. Foster children may be listed on the application as a member of the family where they reside.  Applications must include the foster child's name and personal use income.

Under the provisions of the policy, the designated official will review applications and determine eligibility.  If a parent is dissatisfied with the ruling of the designated official, he/she may request either orally or in writing for a hearing to appeal the decision.  Your school district has been designated as the Hearing Official.  Hearing procedures are outlined in the policy.  However, before initiating the hearing procedure, the parent or School Food Authority may request a conference to provide an opportunity for the parent and official to discuss the situation, present information, and obtain an explanation of the data submitted in the application or the decisions rendered.  The request for a conference shall not prejudice or diminish the right to a fair hearing.

Only complete applications can be approved.  This includes complete and accurate information regarding the SNAP, TANF, or FDPIR case number; the names of all household members; on an income application, the last four digits of the social security number of the person who signs the form or an indication that the adult does not have one, and the amount and source of income received by each household member.  In addition, the parent or guardian must sign the application form, certifying the information is true and correct.

Beginning July 1, 2019 in New York State, children approved eligible for reduced-price meals will receive complete reimbursable breakfast and lunch meals at no charge.

Nondiscrimination Statement:  This explains what to do if you believe you have been treated unfairly.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.  


Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.


To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 


(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture 

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 

1400 Independence Avenue, SW 

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 


(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 


(3) email:


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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