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Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk

Publication Date
Resource type
Federal Register Documents
Comment Request
Comment Period End Date

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This collection is a revision of a currently approved collection for determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals and free milk as stated in FNS regulations. These federal requirements affect eligibility under the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and the Special Milk Program and are also applicable to the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program when individual eligibility must be established.

Request for Comments

Written comments must be received on or before July 7, 2023.

  • Comments may be sent to: Tina Namian, Director, School Meals Policy Division—4th floor, Child Nutrition Programs, Food and Nutrition Service, 1320 Braddock Place, Alexandria, VA 22314.
  • Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will be a matter of public record.


The Food and Nutrition Service administers the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the Special Milk Program as mandated by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA), as amended (42 USC 1751, et seq.), and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended (42 USC 1771, et seq.). The proposed collection reports the eligibility burden of the National School Lunch Program; the School Breakfast Program; and the Special Milk Program. The eligibility burden of the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program is reported in information collections under OMB Control Numbers 0584–0055 and 0584–0280, respectfully.

Per 7 CFR part 245, schools participating in these meal and milk programs must make free and reduced-price meals and free milk available to eligible children. This information collection obtains eligibility information for free and reduced-price meals and free milk and also incorporates verification procedures as required to confirm eligibility. The programs are administered at the state and local levels and operations include direct certification, the submission of household size and income applications for school meal/milk benefits, record maintenance, and public notification of eligibility determinations, documentation, and other data.

Since the last renewal of this collection, school meal programs have been operating under waivers that allowed meals to be served under the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option, which do not require eligibility determinations to be made. As a result, USDA does not have updated data for most requirements covered under this information collection. There are two updates based on new programmatic data. USDA has updated data on the number of state agencies required to maintain direct certification improvement plans. Additionally, since the last renewal the U.S. Virgin Islands have adopted the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), leading to an increase in the number of state agencies required to meet requirements related to CEP. USDA has also adjusted the previous estimates for hours per response in order for the estimates to be written in whole minutes. This is a revision of the currently approved information collection.

Page updated: November 17, 2023