Resources for Economically Challenged Families

Resources Available


Economically Challenged Families

KUD Committee on Poverty

 Cathy Grey, Kristyn Hebert, Erin Chicoine

This includes information about:
Free/Reduced Lunch Program

Holiday Support

Dental Hygiene at School


Dr. Dynasaur

Social Work Service

Sunshine Fund

Bridge Fund

Katie Beckett & Disabled Children's Home Care

Building Buddies


Free/Reduced Lunch Program

The application is on the Williston schools' website (see directions below) or a hardcopy is attached. The Income Eligibility Guidelines indicate the reduced cutoff; if income is below the amount, the family may be available for free lunch. Any child eligible for reduced lunch receives a free breakfast.

If a family receives 3SquaresVT or Reach Up funds, they are automatically eligible for free lunch. The state notifies the school if the family is on a social welfare program.

To get to the online application:

Go to the Williston School District website ( On left, click on Lunch Menu; On left, click on Free and Reduced Lunch; click on either Free and Reduced Meal Program Eligibility Information (for information) or click on Application for Free and Reduced Meal Program ( for application). Print application. Send completed application to Scott Wagner at the Williston Central School.

Families who do not qualify for the Free or Reduced Lunch Program, but who are experiencing emergency or temporary financial difficulties should contact their school principal to find out what other help might be available.

Holiday Support

Families who are eligible for free and reduced lunch are also eligible to get Thanksgiving and winter holiday support. A letter is sent out to all families who are on free and reduced lunch, asking if they want assistance during these holidays. Several community agencies along with individual families supply baskets full of turkey and all the fixings. Many families take advantage of these services as well as gifts for the winter holiday. This support can be accessed through the school social workers and/or school counselors.

Dental Hygiene at School

During the month of February, any student can receive a dental cleaning, exam, and fluoride rinse for a discounted price. In 2010, the price was $18.00. Scholarships are available. This has traditionally been done by a dental hygienist from Dr. Jace Molinari's office. She will also offer helpful advice about good nutrition and dental care. The dental cleaning takes place at school during school hours.


a) Medicaid for kids up to age 18 (Dr. Dynasaur)—the income limit is 300% FPL.

· Income Limit for a Household of 2: $3,658 month

· Income Limit for a Household of 3: $4,598 month

· Income Limit for a Household of 4: $5,538 month

b) Medicaid for pregnant women (also called Dr. Dynasaur)—the income limit is 200% FPL.

· Income Limit for a Household of 1: $1,812 month

· Income Limit for a Household of 2: $2,440 month

· Income Limit for a Household of 3: $3,066 month

· Income Limit for a Household of 4: $3,692 month

Medicaid applications can be obtained from the Vermont Department for Children and Families at 1-800-287-0589 or from Member Services at 1-800-250-8427.

Medicaid for kids up to age 18 is required to cover most services and provides even broader coverage than for adults. For example, Dr. Dynasaur covers eyeglasses for kids.

School Social Work Services

The Howard Center, Chittenden County's mental health agency, has a contract with schools throughout the county, including those in CSSU, to provide school social work services. In Williston, both ABS and WCS have a Howard Center School Social Worker (SSW) in their building. The purpose of SSW in schools is to provide easier access to supports and services for referred students and their families. Referrals for SSW services start at Educational Support Team (EST) meetings and through discussions with the guidance department. To receive services through the Howard Center, it is best if the student has Medicaid insurance coverage. Referred students are typically dealing with mental health issues and behavioral and educational issues. Families may be from poverty and their knowledge to access resources is limited. The school social worker will identify goals with the student, family and school team in order to address specific challenges that are impacting the student's overall success across settings; meet individually with students; do home visits; provide case management and participate on interdisciplinary teams; provide crisis support and social skills training, among many other tasks.

Sunshine Fund

This pot of money is generously funded by the Families as Partners Advisory Council (FAPAC). People can access this money by contacting one of the school counselors and/or school social workers. This money is used to help families with basic needs such as clothes, heating bills, and medical expenses. This money is also spent on helping children attend camp in the summer.

Bridge Fund

The charitable families of Williston and St. George have donated money for this fund. The money is used to “bridge” the gap for families of lower socio-economic status. People can access this money by contacting one of the school counselors and/or school social workers. This money is spent on extracurricular activities and supplies such as: music, art, dance or acting lessons, musical instruments, sports equipment, and fees for joining sports teams.

Katie Beckett & Disabled Children's Home Care

Katie Beckett is a program which has two names: Katie Beckett and Disabled Children's Home Care (DCHC). This program enables children with disabilities who might otherwise not qualify, to obtain Medicaid EPSDT services. The parent's income and resources are NOT counted, only the CHILD'S income and resources are counted toward eligibility.

How do I QUALIFY for it?

· The child must have a disability.

· The child must be under the age of 19 years.

· The child must need a level of care given in hospitals, nursing homes, or in-patient care facilities. For example: a child receiving services at Brattleboro Retreat (or Northeastern Family Institute) or a child with an IV or G-tube living at home.

· It must be medically appropriate to care for the child at home.

· The care the child receives at home must not cost more than the same care in a care facility.

How do I APPLY for it?

You can apply by calling The Health Access Member Services Unit 1-800-250-8427.


Building Buddies

The WCS KUD group has developed a Building Buddy Program for middle school students. A Building Buddy is an adult in WCS who acts as an informal mentor or “buddy” to one or more students. Mentoring has been proven to be one of the most powerful tools in helping at-risk youth stay on the right track. Mentoring has also been shown to help ‘bridge the gap' for children coming from lower SES families. Adult mentees are not associated with the specific house the students come from. These cross house connections expand and diversify the student's current adult relationships.

Last Modified on December 22, 2014