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Verification of Eligibility Procedures in the CACFP

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PDF Icon FNS Instruction (222.51 KB)
DATE: June 30, 1993
SUBJECT: Verification of Eligibility Procedures in the Child and Adult Care Food Program
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs

The purpose of this FNS Instruction is to provide guidance regarding the number of applications that must be reviewed by state agencies conducting verification of eligibility for free and reduced price meals under the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

Section 226.23(h) of Program regulations requires that state agencies perform verification of free and reduced price meal eligibility determinations in individual institutions no less frequently than once every 4 years. For nonpricing programs, verification includes the review of all approved applications. Section 226.23(h) also states that, "Any state may, with the written approval of FNSRO, use alternative approaches in the conduct of verification, provided that the results achieved meet the requirements of this part."

Review of all free and reduced price eligibility determinations made by an institution is the most accurate method for conducting verification. However, particularly in the case of institutions which operate numerous sites and serve a large number of children, alternative methods of verification (methods which permit a review of less than all applications) may be permitted in accordance with the regulatory provision cited above. Verification of a statistically valid sample of applications would be an acceptable alternative method. Guidelines for implementing a statistically valid sample method are attached to this Instruction as Exhibit A.

Any state agency wishing to implement a statistically valid sample method or any other alternative method for verification must submit a plan to its regional office which describes at a minimum the reasons for the request, the specific methodology to be employed, and the characteristics of the institutions to which the plan will be applied. The state's plan must be approved in writing by the regional office before the state agency may implement it. In implementing this policy, regional offices and state agencies should be aware that the review of all applications remains the preferred method for verification of eligibility terminations.

Stanley C. Garnett
Child Nutrition Division

Page updated: April 05, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.