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
The Second Access, Participation, Eligibility, and Certification Study (APEC II): Estimating and Validating Statistical Models for Updating Estimates of Improper Payments in the NSLP and SBP

Statistical models were designed to estimate national improper payments due to certification error on an annual basis using district-level data. This enables FNS to update its estimates of national improper payment rates for the NSLP and SBP in future years without having to conduct full rounds of primary data collection.

Resource | Research | Program Access
Examining the Potential to Expand Data Matching in the School Meal Program Eligibility and Verification Processes

This White Paper examines whether any additional means-tested programs might be feasible for use in the direct certification of school-age children participating in school meals or for verification of household income on meal applications.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Approaches to Measuring Erroneous Payments in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program At The State Level

The second Access, Participation, Eligibility and Certification Study (APEC II) included a follow-on report that provided statistically-derived state-level estimates of school meals erroneous payments. However, while APEC II provided a rough indicator of relative risk for groups of states (e.g., higher than average, about average, lower than average), it was not a state-representative direct measure, and creating actual annual measures of such erroneous payments at the state level using APEC methodology is cost-prohibitive. This report explores alternative approaches to developing measurement-based state-specific estimates that are responsive to year-to-year changes in the actual underlying rate in each state. It also provides cost and burden estimates for the implementation of each of these methods.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Regional Office Review of Applications (RORA) for School Meals 2015

This is the 11th in a series of annual reports that examines the administrative accuracy of eligibility determinations and benefit issuance for free or reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program.

Resource | Proposed Rule
Proposed Rule: Child Nutrition Program Integrity

This rule proposes to codify several provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 affecting the integrity of the child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program, the Special Milk Program for Children, the School Breakfast Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program and state administrative expense funds.

Resource | Proposed Rule
Proposed Rule: Reimbursement of Afterschool Snacks in the Regulations Governing the NSLP and CACFP

Under this proposed rule, certain afterschool care programs would earn reimbursement for snacks served which meet program requirements.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Study of Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program

The NSLP offers free and reduced-price school meals to students from eligible households. Households with incomes at or below 130 percent of poverty are eligible for free meals, and households with incomes between 131 percent and 185 percent of poverty are eligible for reduced-price meals. Traditionally, to receive these benefits, households had to complete and submit application forms to schools or be directly certified. Direct certification, on the other hand, is a method of eligibility determination that does not require families to complete school meal applications. Instead, school officials use documentation from the local or state welfare agency that indicates that a household participates in AFDC or food stamps as the basis for certifying students for free school meals.

Resource | Proposed Rule
Proposed Rule: CACFP Improving Management and Program Integrity

This rule proposes changes to the Child and Adult Care Food Program regulations. These changes result from the findings of state and federal program reviews and from audits and investigations conducted by the Office of Inspector General.

Resource | Proposed Rule
Proposed Rule: Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools: Disclosure of Children's Eligibility Information

This proposed rule would amend the regulations for the Special Milk Program for Children, Summer Food Service Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Determination of Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools relating to the confidentiality of information about individuals who receive free and reduced price meals and free milk.