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Final Rule: Applying for Free and Reduced Price Meals in NSLP and SBP and for Benefits in Special Milk Program (SMP) and Technical Amendments

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Final Rule

This rule finalizes changes to eligibility determinations for free and reduced price school meals to implement nondiscretionary provisions of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004. This rule also finalizes the following changes set forth in the interim rule published on Nov. 13, 2007 (72 FR 63785)--addition of a statutory definition of "local educational agency,'' specification that a family only has to submit one application for all children in the household as long as they attend schools in the same local educational agency, and requirements to enhance descriptive materials distributed to families.

This rule finalizes requirements for electronically-submitted applications, electronic signatures, and use and disclosure standards for such applications. This rule also finalizes year-long eligibility for free or reduced price school meals, unless the household chooses to decline a level of benefits. These changes are intended to provide children with increased access to the school nutrition programs by simplifying the certification process, streamlining program operations, and improving program management.

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Page updated: September 22, 2023