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

The purpose of this memorandum is to revise guidance on the use of school and census data to establish area eligibility in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the At-Risk Afterschool component of CACFP, the Summer Food Service Program, and the Seamless Summer Option of the National School Lunch Program. In 2014, Food Nutrition Service consolidated previous guidance, simplified the area eligibility determination process to reduce administrative burden on state agencies and program operators, and clarified how the Community Eligibility Provision relates to area eligibility determinations.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP51-2016
Ensuring Year-long Eligibility in the School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs

The purpose of this memorandum is to strongly encourage local educational agencies (LEAs) to accept eligibility determinations from a transferring student’s former LEA to minimize disruptions in meal benefits for low-income students and avoid student debt resulting from unpaid meal charges. While most students will change schools at least once between kindergarten and 12th grade, data from the Department of Education show that low-income students change schools more often than their peers. School changes can be disruptive to learning, but ensuring that students do not have a break in their access to free and reduced price meals can help ensure students and families make a successful transition.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP51-2014
Eligibility Effective Date for Directly Certified Students

This memorandum addresses inquiries regarding flexibility in determining the effective date of eligibility for students who are directly certified to receive free meals or free milk in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), and the Special Milk Program (SMP) (SMP). The following clarifications are consistent with the flexibility provided for determining the effective date of eligibility for applications in policy memorandum SP 11-2014, effective date of Free or Reduced Price Meal Eligibility Determinations (Dec. 3, 2013).

Resource | Policy Memos | SP30-2014
Determining Eligibility for Two Cent Differential Reimbursement in New Schools

Section 4 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) provides general cash for food assistance payments to states to assist schools in purchasing food. The NSLA provides two different section 4 payment levels for lunches served under the National School Lunch Program. The base payment applies to lunches served by School Food Authorities (SFAs) in which less than 60 percent of the lunches served during the second preceding year were served free or reduced price. Those SFAs in which 60 percent or more of the lunches served in the second preceding school year were served at free or reduced price receive two cents more. This higher payment rate is referred to as the two cent differential.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP11 CACFP06 SFSP11-2014
Effective Date of Free or Reduced Price Meal Eligibility Determinations

This memorandum clarifies the flexibility available to local educational agency (LEA) officials for establishing the effective date of eligibility for children certified for free or reduced price meals in the National School Lunch (NSLP) and School Breakfast Programs (SBP) and free milk in the Special Milk Program (SMP) based on household applications.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP17 CACFP08 SFSP05-2011
Categorical Eligibility of Children in Foster Care

This memorandum provides additional questions and answers and clarification to update SP 17-2011, CACFP 08-2011, SFSP 05-2011, Categorical Eligibility of Foster Children, dated March 16, 2011.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP13-2012
Verification for Cause in the School Meals Programs

Recently, concerns have been raised about school district employees allegedly misrepresenting their incomes on applications to receive free or reduced price school meals for their children.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP02-2012
Verification and Reporting of Foster Children

This memorandum is to provide guidance on the verification process and reporting for categorically eligible foster children