Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program: State Implementation Progress

This report responds to a requirement of Public Law 110-246 to assess the effectiveness of State and local efforts to conduct direct certification of children for free school meals. Under direct certification, children are determined eligible for free meals without the need for household applications by using data from other means-tested programs. The 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act requires local educational agencies (LEAs) to establish, by School Year 2008-2009, a system of direct certification of children from households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamp Program) benefits. The mandate is phased in over three years; the largest LEAs were required to establish direct certification systems for School Year 2006-2007. As of School Year 2007-2008, 67 percent of LEAs operated a direct certification system. Across all States, the 2007-2008 median direct certification rate of SNAP-participant children was 69 percent. This number is expected to increase sharply in School Year 2008-2009 as all LEAs become subject to the statutory mandate.

Resource | Interim Final Rule
Interim Rule: Verification of Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs

This interim rule implements provisions of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 relating to verification of applications approved for free or reduced price meals in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP 04-2009
Reminder Concerning E-Rate Audits by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

We were asked by the FCC to issue a reminder about cooperating with contractors auditing school districts’ receipt of funds under the FCC’s E-Rate fund.  Auditing for the current cycle is scheduled to begin in December 2008. Please refer to Policy Memorandum 29-2008 dated July 8, 2008,  for specific information.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Accuracy of LEA Processing of School Lunch Applications-Regional Office Review of Applications (RORA) 2007

This is the third in a series of annual reports assessing administrative error associated with the local educational agency’s (LEA) approval of applications for free and reduced-price school meals. In school year 2006/07 about 96 percent of students who were approved for meal benefits on the basis of an application received the correct level of meal benefits, based on the information in the application files. The percent of all students with administrative errors in the processing of their applications for meal benefits has remained relatively stable over the 3-year period, with administrative errors ranging between 3 and 4 percent.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP 02-2009
Final Fluid Milk Substitution Rule

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) issued the final rule Fluid Milk Substitutions in the School Nutrition Program (73 FR 52903) on September 12, 2008, to implement a provision of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP 40-2008
Reaffirmation of Policy on Limited Disclosure of Children's Eligibility Information to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

The administrators of the NAEP have asked that we remind school food authorities that they may disclose, without parent/guardian consent, children’s names and eligibility status (whether they are eligible for free meals or free milk or reduced price meals) to persons directly connected with the administration or enforcement of a Federal or State education program, as permitted by section 9(b)(6)(A)(ii)(I) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP 39-2008
Responsibility to Request Food Safety Inspections

A number of schools nationwide are still having difficulty obtaining the two food safety inspections required by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004. Although the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) realizes that many of the difficulties schools face are beyond their control, we would like to stress that local program operators are responsible for requesting the food safety inspections from the public health department and documenting their efforts.

Resource | Final Rule
Final Rule: Fluid Milk Substitutions in the School Nutrition Programs

This final rule implements a legislative provision on milk substitutes that is consistent with current regulations on menu exceptions for students with disabilities and adds requirements for the optional substitution of nondairy beverage for fluid milk for children with medical or special dietary needs in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP 37-2008
30-Day Carryover and Delayed Implementation for Provision 2

This memorandum is to clarify the relationship between delayed implementation of Provision 2 as permitted in §245.9(b)(6)(ii) and use of a child’s prior year’s eligibility status for the first 30 operating days in the new school year (“carryover”) in §245.6(c)(2).

Resource | Final Rule
Final Rule: Management of Donated Foods in Child Nutrition Programs, the Nutrition Services Incentive Program, and Charitable Institutions

This final rule revises and clarifies requirements for the management, distribution, and use of donated foods in the National School Lunch Program and other child nutrition programs, in the Nutrition Services Incentive Program, and by charitable institutions.