Data Matching in the National School Lunch Program: 2005

Last Published: 10/29/2013

This study examines the feasibility of expanding the use of computer matching for certification and verification of children eligible for free and reduced-price meals funded under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). This study provides a detailed description of how computer matching is currently used and how it could be used. It addresses the feasibility and effectiveness of different practices, from the point of view of both State and local agencies. Computer matching for NSLP has the potential to improve the efficiency and integrity of the certification and verification process without deterring eligible households from applying for free or reduced-price meals. The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-265) mandated direct certification of children in food stamp households, to be phased in over three years beginning in 2006.