Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program Report to Congress: State Implementation Progress, School Year 2015-2016 and 2016-2017

This report responds to the requirement of PL 110-246 to assess the effectiveness of state and local efforts to directly certify children for free school meals. Direct certification is a process conducted by the states and by local educational agencies (LEAs) to certify eligible children for free meals without the need for household applications. The 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act required LEAs to establish systems to directly certify children from households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by school year (SY) 2008-2009. This report presents information on the outcomes of direct certification for SY 2015-2016 and SY 2016-2017.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program Report to Congress: State Implementation Progress, School Year 2014-2015

This report responds to the requirement of PL 110-246 to assess the effectiveness of state and local efforts to directly certify children for free school meals. Direct certification is a process conducted by the states and by local educational agencies to certify eligible children for free meals without the need for household applications. 

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
National School Lunch Program Direct Certification Improvement Study

The purpose of this study is to describe current methods of direct certification used by State and local agencies and challenges facing States and local education agencies in attaining high matching rates.  In addition, the analysis of unmatched records provides a better understanding of the categorically eligible children who are not matched in the direct certification process and identifies potential matching process improvements that might increase the number of matched children. This study includes analysis of data drawn from a National Survey of Direct Certification Practices and case studies of seven States for School Year 2012-2013.