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Superintendent Encourages Families to Access Support Resources, Including FARMs Program

June 5th, 2020

The following letter was issued by Superintendent Michael Martirano on June 5, 2020:

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The coronavirus pandemic is causing a lot of hardship for many of our friends and neighbors. Many HCPSS families have been impacted financially by the pandemic, and may be eligible now to receive benefits through the Free and Reduced Price Meals (FARMs) program. Qualifying families can take advantage of a wide range of additional resources and discounts, including testing fees, tuition, internet and more.

As someone who received free meals and other support as a child, I encourage all Howard County families who are experiencing economic stress to access these resources during this challenging time. Eligible families can benefit from significant cost savings each school year and we want to connect as many families as possible to these resources.

If you already participate in the FARMs program, you do not need to complete the application again until August for the 2020-21 school year when the income eligibility levels change.

I encourage you to visit www.hcpss.org/farms to learn more and consider applying. For more information, email the Office of Food and Nutrition Services at foodsvc@hcpss.org or contact your school.

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: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, 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: program.intake@usda.gov.

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