YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Families eligible for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools free or reduced school lunch program can apply now at Yongsan's Army Community Service.

Applications are available at the ACS financial readiness office in Bldg. 4106, and the program is available to active-duty military and civilian employees who have children up to eighth grade in DODDS schools.

Eligibility is based on a family's size and income, said Allison Blake, ACS financial readiness program manager. Last year, Yongsan families combined saved more than $24,000 under this program.

A family of four with a total family annual income of $34,450 is eligible for the free lunch program. That family would save either $373.32 or $439.20 per child, depending on the child's grade.

The same family with an annual income of $49,025 is eligible for the reduced lunch program and would save up to $366 per year.

"The guidelines have changed from last year, so if you were eligible last year, you must re-apply," she said.

Applicants must submit a copy of their latest Leave and Earnings Statement and other income verification documents as needed, along with a copy of orders showing command-sponsored family members, Blake said. For children not listed on orders, a copy of birth certificates or adoption papers must be submitted with the application.

Some families may not qualify based on income, but have special hardships conditions, Blake said. Those families can still apply and ACS officials will review their cases. In some cases, foster children are eligible for free or reduced lunches.

The school lunch program is designed to meet federal requirements for nutritionally balanced meals and to offer free or reduced price lunch and breakfast (where available) to eligible children under the National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act.

For information, call 738-4655 or 738-5028.