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Schools in the Kaiserslautern military community will start taking applications May 1 for free or reduced-price meals during the 2009-10 school year.

Families need to apply each year to qualify for the meals. Eligibility is based on family size and total family income.

The free and reduced-price meal programs are being publicized heavily this year because only 25 percent of the students in the KMC area participate and more families may be eligible for this assistance, said Sabine Koch, school liaison program manager at Ramstein Air Base.

"We have found that more people are in the program in other locations, like in the U.K.," Koch said. "The process is pretty easy … it is not taking more than five minutes to check it and we will verify it on the spot."

As an example, school liaison officials said the family of an E-7 with less than 18 years of service, a spouse and two children qualifies for the reduced-meal program and would save $313.50 per child for the school year.

Application forms can be obtained at any school in the KMC area through the school liaison offices and at http://www.e-publishing.af.mil. Eligibility guidelines can be found online at www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/notices/iegs/IEGs08-09.pdf .

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