Resource | Comment Request
Comment Request - Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk

This collection is a revision of a currently approved collection for determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals and free milk as stated in FNS regulations. These federal requirements affect eligibility under the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and the Special Milk Program and are also applicable to the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program when individual eligibility must be established

Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2010-0016
Categorical Eligibility: Temporary Assistance to Needy Families

This is a reminder of the statutory and regulatory requirements for categorical eligibility for the Child Nutrition Programs based on receipt of benefits from each state’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. Section 9(b) (12) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act restricts categorical eligibility to those TANF programs with standards that are comparable to or more restrictive than those in effect on June 1, 1995.

SP 22-2010
Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2014-0051
Eligibility Effective Date for Directly Certified Students

This memorandum addresses inquiries regarding flexibility in determining the effective date of eligibility for students who are directly certified to receive free meals or free milk in the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the Special Milk Program.

SP51-2014
Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2005-0036
Eligibility for Severe Need Rates for the School Breakfast Program

Section 220.9(d) of the School Breakfast Program (SBP) regulations outlines criteria for schools to qualify for severe need reimbursement. Included in these criteria is the requirement that 40 percent or more of the lunches served to students at that school in the second preceding school year were served free or at a reduced price. This criterion is intended to ensure that the severe need reimbursement rate is provided to schools which have already demonstrated that a high percentage of meals, defined as 40 percent or more of lunches, are being served to needy students.

SP 23-2005
Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2016-0051
Ensuring Year-long Eligibility in the School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs

The purpose of this memorandum is to strongly encourage local educational agencies (LEAs) to accept eligibility determinations from a transferring student’s former LEA to minimize disruptions in meal benefits for low-income students and avoid student debt resulting from unpaid meal charges. While most students will change schools at least once between kindergarten and 12th grade, data from the Department of Education show that low-income students change schools more often than their peers. 

SP51-2016
Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2005-0010
Statutory Changes in the Free and Reduced Price Eligibility Determination Process and Revised Prototype Application Implementation Memo

The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (PL 108-265), enacted June 30, 2004, amended sections of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) affecting the eligibility determination process for free and reduced price benefits under the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and the Special Milk Program for Children.

SP-12-2005
Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2008-0052
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.

SP 40-2008
Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2014-0022
Determining Eligibility for Two Cent Differential Reimbursement in New Schools

Section 4 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act provides general cash for food assistance payments to states to assist schools in purchasing food. The NSLA provides two different section 4 payment levels for lunches served under the National School Lunch Program.

SP30-2014
Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2006-0038
Verification Sample Size

Section 9(b)(3) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act was amended by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, PL 108-265, to specify verification sample sizes for local educational agencies .

SP27-2006
Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2004-0039
Guidance on Determining Categorical Eligibility for Free Lunches and Breakfasts for Youth Served under the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act

As described in our Reauthorization Implementation Memo SP 4, Categorical Eligibility for Free Lunches and Breakfasts of Runaway, Homeless, and Migrant Youth, issued July 19, 2004, runaway youth served through grant programs established under the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (PL 108-96) are now categorically eligible for free meals in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.