Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Analysis of Verification Summary Data School Year 2007-2008

This report summarizes the results of the school year (SY) 2007-2008 application verification process for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program. Each year, Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) review a sample of applications that they approved for free or reduced-price school meal benefits at the start of the school year. Households do not provide documentation of income or participation in means-tested public assistance programs at the time they submit applications for school meal benefits. However, if selected for verification review, households must submit such documentation to maintain their free or reduced-price certifications. Households whose benefits are to be reduced or terminated as a result of the verification process are given an opportunity to appeal. In addition, households remain free to reapply for benefits at any time.

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

This report responds to the legislative requirement of Public Law 110-246 to assess the effectiveness of State and local efforts to directly certify children for free school meals. Under direct certification, children are determined eligible for free school meals without the need for household applications by using data from other means-tested programs. The 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act required 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 was phased in over three years; the largest LEAs were required to establish direct certification systems first, by School Year (SY) 2006-2007. As of SY 2008-2009, all LEAs are subject to the mandate. Seventy-eight percent of LEAs directly certified SNAP-participating students in SY 2008-2009. These LEAs enroll 96 percent of all students in NSLP-participating schools. The median direct certification rate was 72 percent in SY 2008-2009. This is up from 69 percent in SY 2007-2008.

Resource | Research | Demonstrations
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP): Improper Payments Data Collection Pilot Project

The Improper Payments Information Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-300) (IPIA) requires all Federal agencies to calculate the amount of erroneous payments in Federal programs and to periodically conduct detailed assessments of vulnerable program components. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) subsidizes children's meals and snacks in participating day care centers and family day care homes (FDCHs). The purpose of this pilot was to test possible methods that could lead to valid estimations of the number of meals served by FDCHs. The estimated number of meals served can be used to develop estimates of over- and under-counts of meal claims by FDCH providers that result in erroneous payments.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Assessment of Sponsor Tiering Determinations 2007

The Improper Payments Information Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-300) requires all Federal agencies to calculate the amount of erroneous payments in Federal programs and to periodically conduct detailed assessments of vulnerable program components. This is the third wave (2007) of a program assessment of the Family Day Care Home (FDCH) component of USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The assessment provides a national estimate of the share of CACFP-participating family day care homes that are approved for an incorrect level of per meal reimbursement, or reimbursement "tier," for their circumstances. Tiering errors result in improper payments because misclassified FDCHs do not receive the appropriate level of reimbursement for the meals and snacks provided to the children. The assessment also estimates the dollar amount of improper payments attributable to FDCH tiering errors.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Results of the Feasibility Study of Estimating the Risk of Meal Claiming Error in the CACFP

Measuring erroneous meal claims in the Family Day Care Home (FDCH) component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) poses great difficulty. FDCH providers report meal service counts, by day, at the end of each month but do not submit independent objective documentation to confirm the accuracy of the reports. Therefore, the Food and Nutrition Service’s 2006 Improper Payments Information Act (IPIA) plan for the CACFP proposed to test the feasibility of estimating the risk of errors. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) proposed to select a random sample of sponsoring organizations and, from each, use a random selection of the sponsor’s monitoring visits of FDCHs.1 Using these data, FNS would compare the number of meals claimed with the number of children observed at the time of the visit.