To ensure program integrity, school districts must sample household applications certified for free or reduced-price meals, contact the households, and verify eligibility. This process (known as household verification) can be burdensome for both school officials and households. Direct verification uses information from certain other means-tested programs to verify eligibility without contacting applicants. Potential benefits include: less burden for households, less work for school officials, and fewer students with school meal benefits terminated because of nonresponse to verification requests.
In accordance with the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, the housing allowance for military personnel living in privatized housing will be permanently excluded from income when determining household eligibility for free and reduced price meals or free milk in all of the child nutrition programs.