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Comment Request - Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools

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Summary of Collection: The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA), as amended, authorizes the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Section 9, Paragraph 9(b) of the NSLA provides that the income guidelines for determining eligibility for free school meals must be 130 percent, and reduced price school meals must be 185 percent, of the applicable family size income levels contained in the non-farm income poverty guidelines prescribed by the Office of Management and Budget, as adjusted annually.

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 7 CFR part 245, Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools, sets forth policies and procedures for implementing these provisions. These federal regulations require schools operating the NSLP to determine children's eligibility for free and reduced-price meals on the basis of each child's household income and size, and to establish operating procedures that will prevent physical segregation, or other discrimination against, or overt identification of children unable to pay the full price for meals or milk. Section 104 of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 added section 9(b)(4) to the NSLA (42 USC 1758(b)(4)) to require school food authorities to directly certify, without further application, any child who is a member of a household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Need and Use of the Information: FNS will collect information to determine eligibility of children for free and reduced price meals and for free milk and to assure that there is no physical segregation of, or other discrimination against, or overt identification of children unable to pay the full price for meals or milk.

Updated: 04/26/2016