This report examines the impact of using Medicaid data to directly certify students for free and reduced-price school meals in the NSLP and SBP in fifteen states in school year 2019-20. It assesses outcomes related to certification, participation, federal reimbursement, and state administrative costs in SY 2019-20 and over the course of the demonstration.
Evaluation of the Direct Certification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals Demonstration - Year 1
The demonstration of Direct Certification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals (DCM-F/RP) allows authorized States and school districts to use information from Medicaid data files to identify students eligible to receive free or reduced-price (F/RP) National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) meals. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) contracted with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct a study of the first two years of this demonstration to describe the implementation process and explore the effects on certification, participation, Federal reimbursements, and State administrative costs. This report presents the findings from the first year of the demonstration evaluation, school year (SY) 2016–2017.
Year 2 Demonstration Impacts of Using Medicaid Data to Directly Certify Students for Free School Meals
The Food and Nutrition Service conducted the Direct Certification with Medicaid (DC-M) demonstration that enables selected States and districts to use household income data from Medicaid files to directly certify students for free school meals. This report focuses on the experiences of States and districts conducting DC-M during School Year (SY) 2013-2014, the second year of the demonstration. It examines whether DC-M leads to changes in the percentage of students certified, the number of meals served, Federal reimbursements, and certification costs incurred by districts. It also assesses State-level administrative costs and identifies the challenges that States and districts face when implementing DC-M.
The Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children (SEBTC) demonstration distributed a monthly benefit during the summer on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) EBT cards to children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. The first two summers (2011 and 2012) tested a $60 benefit amount. Summer 2013 compared the impacts of a $30 benefit to a $60 benefit, and summer 2014 examined implementation strategies and benefit use patterns. This comprehensive report presents results from the analysis of pooled data from all summer demonstrations.
Evaluation of Demonstrations of National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program Direct Certification of Children Receiving Medicaid Benefits: Access Evaluation Report
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 required the Food and Nutrition Service to conduct a demonstration that adds Medicaid to the list of programs used to directly certify students for free school meals. Although students receiving Medicaid are not categorically eligible for free meals, the DC-M demonstration authorizes selected States and districts to use income information from Medicaid files to directly certify those students found to be eligible for free meals.
Evaluation of Demonstrations of National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program Direct Certification of Children Receiving Medicaid Benefits: Year 1 Report
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA; PL 111-296) required the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to conduct a demonstration that adds Medicaid to the list of programs used to directly certify students for free school meals. Although students receiving Medicaid are not categorically eligible for free meals, the DC-M demonstration authorizes selected States and districts to use income information from Medicaid files to directly certify those students found to be eligible for free meals.
Evaluation of the Impact of Wave 2 Incentives Demonstrations on Participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP): FY 2012
The evaluation analyzed administrative data acquired from the six States that participated in the 2012 Enhanced Summer Food Service Program (eSFSP) Demonstrations to examine the impact of the demonstrations on participation. It found that the impacts on participation were mixed. For the Backpack demonstration, sites in one State increased the number of children and meals served, sites in another State served more meals but did not increase the number of children served, and both meals and children served decreased in the third State. Analysis of the Meal Delivery demonstration indicates the demonstration likely increased the number of children served.
The evaluation used interviews and site visits to capture implementation strategies and stakeholders’ views of the 2012 Enhanced Summer Food Service Program (eSFSP) demonstrations. Results indicated that sites used different strategies for recruitment and outreach; the types of food delivered; training; and technical assistance. Site administrators felt that previous experience operating an SFSP site; good use of partnerships, volunteers, consultants, and activities to make the projects family friendly; a focus on healthful eating; and careful use of resources for efficiency were important to successful implementation. Also, both participating families and site operators felt the demonstrations were an important resource to address summer hunger.
The evaluation examined the impact of a $30 per child per month benefit on child, adult and household food security relative to a $60 monthly benefit. It found that the $30 benefit was as effective in reducing the most severe category of food insecurity among children during the summer as the $60 benefit.