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FY 2009 Direct Certification/Verification Grant Summaries

Executive Office of Health and Human Services

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services received a grant to enhance its Virtual Gateway system. The enhancements will enable the development of real time data access for local educational agencies to both Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program information. This access will enable Massachusetts to implement Direct Verification and to expand the current Direct Certification capabilities. School Nutrition Program (SNP) officials will be able to query Medicaid and SNAP information for a single child or will be able to conduct batch matches for groups of children.

Additionally, financing through this grant will enable the Department of Health and Human Services to include an online application with an electronic signature for the School Nutrition Program within the Common Intake Service on the Virtual Gateway. The Common Intake Service currently combines applications for 13 different public assistance programs into a single online form. Programs currently accessible through Common Intake include SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, child care and a range of disability programs. With this enhancement, social service providers, citizens and health care providers will have the ability to submit an SNP application along with any other services included in Common Intake. For more information contact Katie Millet at or 781-338-6494.

State Department of Education

The Nebraska State Department of Education received a grant for the purpose of creating a technology solution that will expand and increase the once per year match process. The direct certification capabilities created by this project will provide schools with real time SNAP and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) participation data for enrolled students. Many children are newly enrolled in the SNAP and TANF programs every day. With the enhancements schools will have the ability to match their enrollment records to SNAP and TANF participation on a daily basis. They will have the capability of conducting searches for eligible students at any time; which, in turn will increase the number of students directly certified and will ensure that meal benefits are provided in a timely manner. For more information contact Beverly Ann Benes at or 402-471-3566.

Pennsylvania Department of Education

The Pennsylvania Department of Education received a grant to extend the Direct Verification process to include Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The grant will also be used to enhance the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Access to Social Service, COMPASS. COMPASS is an online portal that allows citizens to apply for Department of Public Welfare, PA Insurance Department and PA Department of Education programs at the same time. The COMPASS enhancements will increase the once a year Direct Certification list to more frequently updated lists of newly enrolled SNAP and TANF school-aged children. The revised COMPASS system will incorporate the SOUNDEX algorithm to provide a greater degree of matching with school enrollment information and SNAP, Medicaid and SCHIP eligibility data. Finally the grant will allow for training sessions to acclimate the NSLP Providers with new functionality, including the knowledge that the Direct Verification process is automatically consulting enrollment in the Medicaid and SCHIP. For more information contact Vonda Fekete or 717-787-7698.

Rhode Island
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

The Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education received a grant to develop an electronic, real-time Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application form. Free and reduced meal counts will be electronically cross-checked against free and reduced meal count information that is stored in three separate systems,including the RI SNAP eligibility data system. Meal count information will be electronically validated to identify trends in the data and bottlenecks in the processes. These changes will enable Rhode Island Department of Education and the school districts to implement steps to increase participation in the school meals programs. For more information contact Becky Bessette or 401-222-4253.

Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Division

The Texas Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Division received a grant for the development and implementation of a direct verification database and interface. The system will enable school food authorities to directly verify at least some NSLP applications without the need to contact every household separately. The system will expand on the existing direct certification system in Texas, which coordinates monthly updated TANF and SNAP data from the Health and Human Services Commission with student enrollment data from the Texas Education Agency. The direct certification system makes relevant records directly available to public and charter school food authorities while preserving student confidentiality.

The proposed direct verification system will include Medicaid and CHIP data as well as TANF and SNAP, and will be available to all public, private, charter and residential child care institution school food authorities in Texas. The direct verification system will have two options: individual matching and batch reports. For more information contact Robin Roark or 512-463-3910.

Page updated: June 20, 2024