The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (PL 108-265) directed the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a study of the feasibility of using computer technology (including data mining) to reduce over-certification, waste, fraud and abuse in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Prior to enactment of this legislation, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) contracted with Abt Associates, Inc. to study the feasibility of expanding computer matching for certification of school meal benefits. This study draws on experts in data matching and privacy issues, and will survey state child nutrition directors, state education officials, and state Medicaid officials to learn about current computer matching capabilities and issues involved in expanding matching. A final report will be available in April 2006.
To meet the requirements of the Act, FNS asked Abt Associates to prepare a preliminary report on the feasibility of computer matching in the NSLP. The report summarizes the results of an expert panel on computer matching, and exploratory interviews with three states. This summary provides background information and preliminary findings on the feasibility of computer matching.