Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Regional Office Review of Application (RORA) For School Meals 2009

This is the fifth in a series of annual reports that examines administrative error incurred during the local educational agency’s (LEA) approval process of applications for free and reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program: State Progress in Implementation 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 a system of direct certification of children from households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by School Year (SY) 2008-2009. In SY 2009-2010, 83 percent of LEAs directly certified participating SNAP students. These LEAs enroll 97 percent of all students in NSLP schools. States and LEAs directly certified 1.6 million more children at the start of SY 2009-2010 than they did a year earlier, a 24-percent increase. The percentage of SNAP participant children certified for free school meals without application increased slightly from 71 percent in SY 2008-2009 to 72 percent in SY 2009-2010.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Feasibility of Wider Implementation of Direct Verification With Medicaid

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.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Developing and Evaluating Methods for Using American Community Survey Data to Support the School Meals Programs

This is a report of the National Academies' National Research Council, Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT), which was commissioned by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. It is available here by permission. It may also be obtained through the National Research Council's website. An earlier, prepublication version was made available in May 2010, but should no longer be used.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Selecting Policy Indicators And Developing Simulation Models for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs

The third School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study provides the most comprehensive measurement available of: (a) the nutritional quality of reimbursable meals served in the National School Lunch
and Breakfast programs, (b) the nutritional quality of the breakfasts and lunches consumed by children who participate in these programs, and (c) student participation rates. The study data enable analyses of
school meal policies that were not previously possible. This report describes exploratory work to develop a simulation model to predict the potential implications of changes that may be coming in policies and practices related to school meals and school food environments.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
School Meals Building Blocks for Healthy Children

This is a report of the National Academies' Institute of Medicine (IOM), Food and Nutrition Board, which was commissioned by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. It is available here by permission. It may also be obtained through the Institute of Medicine website. This is the final version of the report. An earlier, prepublication version was made available in October 2009, but should no longer be used. This final version includes some important corrections.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Regional Office Review of Application (RORA) For School Meals 2008

This is the fourth in a series of annual reports that examines administrative error incurred during the local educational agency’s (LEA) approval process of applications for free and reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). In school year 2007/08 about 96 percent of students submitting applications for meal benefits received the correct level of meal benefits, based on information in the application files. The percent of all students with errors in the processing of their applications for meal benefits has remained relatively stable over the 4-year period, with administrative errors ranging between 3 and 4 percent.