Certifying Eligibility of Sites Serving Migrant Children
This memorandum permits sponsors to use data from a national migrant organization to certify the eligibility of sites serving the children of migrant workers. It is a continuation, without any changes, of SFSP Policy Memorandum #11-98, issued on May 27, 1998. This memorandum is effective upon issuance, and will remain in effect until superseded by regulation or future memorandum.
Section 225.6(c)(2)(ii)(A) of the regulations allows sponsors proposing to serve migrant children to obtain data from a migrant organization to establish site eligibility. The data would support the eligibility of the group of children who would be served at the proposed site. This provision is intended to make it easier for sponsors of migrant sites to participate (since some migrant sites are located in affluent farming areas, these sites would otherwise have to be enrolled in order to participate), and receive the additional meal benefits that SFSP offers to migrant children.
We are aware that documenting the income of small groups of migrants may be difficult for some sponsors, particularly since data describing migrant workers has often been inadequate. The most reliable data is collected through the Department of Labor’s National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS); however, these data only describe agricultural crop workers.
A recent profile of farm workers describes changes in demographics, household composition, income, use of Federal programs, and immigration status of farm workers, since 1988. The report, written for the Commission on Immigration Reform, is based on data collected for NAWS. It reveals that, by 1995, 61 percent of farm workers were living in households below the poverty level. That is a significant increase since 1990, when it was disclosed that 50 percent of farm workers lived below the poverty level.
Based on these and other data about the poor economic status of migrant farm workers and their families, we believe that it is appropriate for sponsors to use national data to support the eligibility of sites which will primarily serve migrant children.
Please share this information with your state agencies. If you have any questions concerning any of the issues addressed in this memorandum, please contact Melissa Rothstein or Susan Ponemon.