Resource | Notice
Child Nutrition Programs: Income Eligibility Guidelines (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020)

This notice announces the Department's annual adjustments to the Income Eligibility Guidelines to be used in determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals and free milk for the period from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. These guidelines are used by schools, institutions, and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program (and Commodity School Program), School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program.

Resource | Toolkits
Verification Toolkit

School Food Authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program are required to verify income for a small percentage of households approved for free or reduced price meals each school year. However, getting households to respond to verification requests can be challenging for SFA staff. If households do not respond, they lose their benefits regardless of their actual eligibility. In addition, the number of approved applications an SFA is required to verify is impacted by the number of responses they were able to obtain the previous year.

Resource | Webinars/Videos
Webinar: Verification Toolkit and Beginning Verification Before October 1

A brief overview of the resources contained in the Verification Toolkit, as well as a detailed walk-through outlining a few options for beginning verification before October 1.

Resource | Regulations
PART 245—Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools

This part established the responsibilities of State agencies, Food and Nutrition Service Regional Offices, school food authorities or local educational agencies, as defined in §245.2, as applicable in providing free and reduced price meals and free milk in the National School Lunch Program (7 CFR part 210), the School Breakfast Program (7 CFR part 220), the Special Milk Program (SMP) for Children (7 CFR part 215), and commodity schools. Section 9 of the National School Lunch Act, as amended, and sections 3 and 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended, require schools participating in any of the programs and commodity schools to make available, as applicable, free and reduced price lunches, breakfasts, and at the option of the School Food Authority for schools participating only in the Special Milk Program (SMP) free milk to eligible children.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP36 CACFP15 SFSP11-2017
Eligibility Manual for School Meals

The manual provides comprehensive information on federal requirements, policies, and procedures, and is intended to help state agencies and local educational agencies accurately determine, certify, and verify children’s eligibility for free and reduced price school meals and free milk.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP20- 2017
Eligibility

This memorandum details guidance on the annual Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) notification and publication requirements and provides information on the USDA-developed reporting template.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP08 CACFP04 SFSP03-2017
Area Eligibility in Child Nutrition Programs
Resource | Research | Program Access
Examining the Potential to Expand Data Matching in the School Meal Program Eligibility and Verification Processes

This White Paper examines whether any additional means-tested programs might be feasible for use in the direct certification of school-age children participating in school meals or for verification of household income on meal applications.

Resource | Technical Assistance
School Meals Application Materials in Nepali
Resource | Technical Assistance
School Meals Application Materials in Kru