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Verification Sample Size

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PDF Icon Policy Memo (59.75 KB)
DATE: July 25, 2006
MEMO CODE: SP 27-2006
SUBJECT: Verification Sample Size
TO: Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions

Section 9(b)(3) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) was amended by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, PL 108-265, to specify verification sample sizes for local educational agencies (LEAs). As stated in section 9(b)(3)(D)(iii) of the NSLA, the standard sample size is the lesser of three percent (3%) or 3,000 of the approved applications on file as of October 1. It is important to note that the NSLA, as revised in 2004, now establishes an exact sample size for routine annual verification activities. LEAs must verify at least as many applications as calculated by the sample formula but may do no more.

While the verification sample cannot exceed the statutory limits, LEAs still have an obligation to verify questionable applications (for cause). For cause may include but is not limited to situations where school officials have knowledge of household circumstances that would cause them to verify the information on the application. It is important to note that this restriction on sample size does not apply to a state’s ability to conduct application verification activities connected to its general oversight responsibilities.

Please forward this memorandum to your state agencies as soon as possible, and request that they share with their LEAs immediately to insure implementation for school years 06/07. The memorandum will be posted on the web site one week from today.

Child Nutrition Division


Page updated: December 16, 2021

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.