This proposed rule would amend the regulations governing the procedures for determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.
Existing regulations provide school food authorities with two alternatives to the standard requirements for the annual determinations of eligibility for free and reduced price school meals and daily meal counts by type, commonly termed "Provision 1" and "Provision 2." This proposed rule would allow for an extension of Provision 2 procedures and provide for a new alternative, "Provision 3."
For schools choosing to participate in one of the alternate application and meal counting procedures, this proposed rule would also codify the alternate counting and claiming provisions of PL 103–448 which have been implemented, and codify revisions to the counting and claiming provisions authorized by PL 104–193 and PL 105–336.
This proposed rule would streamline program operations for program administrators and participants. State agency and school food authority recordkeeping burdens are expected to decrease because the determinations of eligibility for free and reduced price meals would not be made as frequently. In addition, for those schools electing to participate, this proposed rule may increase participation in nutritious school meal programs, thereby helping students develop lifelong healthy eating habits. A primary reason for the increase in participation is that local schools would be offering meals at no charge to all enrolled students.