Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Examination of the Effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefit and Eligibility Parameters on Low-Income Households

This study examines how the policies that determine benefit levels for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) compare to current low-income spending patterns by analyzing the expenditures of low-income households across the United States in 2013 and 2014.

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 | Research | Demonstrations
Assessment of the Contributions of an Interview to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Eligibility and Benefit Determinations

This study was designed to assess whether the elimination of the eligibility interview at certification and recertification would have adverse effects on client and worker outcomes. FNS awarded grants to two States—Oregon and Utah—to conduct demonstrations in which the eligibility interviews at certification and recertification were completely eliminated. An analysis of the demonstrations that provide estimates of the contributions of eligibility interviews in determining SNAP eligibility and benefits was conducted.

Resource | Research
Community Eligibility Provision Evaluation

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) provided schools and districts that predominately serve low-income children with a new option for meal certification.  Under the Community Eligibility Provision, schools do not collect or process meal applications for free and reduced-price meals served in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.  Schools must serve all meals at no cost with any costs in excess of the Federal reimbursement paid from non-Federal sources.  The evaluation, mandated by HHFKA, examined the implementation and impacts of the Community Eligibility Provision.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Report to Congress: The Nebraska Rural Area Eligibility Determination Pilot for the CACFP

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) subsidizes nutritious meals and snacks served to participants in child care nationwide, providing different levels or “tiers” of meal reimbursement based on the income level of participating children, providers, and nearby geographic areas. Policymakers have long been concerned that programs such as CACFP are not as accessible to eligible children in rural areas as in urban areas. To address these concerns, Public Law 108-265 (2004) authorized a pilot to test lowering the eligibility threshold for higher reimbursement rates to make them available in rural areas in Nebraska with somewhat lower concentrations of low-income households (40 percent of school children below 185 percent of poverty) than permitted under regular program rules (50 percent of school children below 185 percent of poverty). By offering higher reimbursement rates in these areas, it was hoped not only that more day care providers would become interested in participating in the CACFP, but that sufficient concentrations of such providers would make it more attractive for sponsoring organizations to operate in more rural areas. This report presents the results on an evaluation of the pilot, which was conducted between October 2005 and September 2007.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
The Pennsylvania SFSP Rural Area Eligibility Pilot Evaluation

The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-265) authorized a pilot to operate in rural Pennsylvania during the summers of 2005 and 2006. The purpose was to test whether lowering the site eligibility threshold from 50 percent to 40 percent would increase the number of children participating in the program. The legislation directed USDA, through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), to evaluate the impact of the pilot eligibility criterion on: (1) the number of sponsors operating sites that offer meals under the SFSP, (2) the number of sites offering meals through SFSP, (3) the geographic locations of sites, (4) services provided at the sites, and (5) other factors influencing participation.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
NSLP/SBP Access, Participation, Eligibility, and Certification Study – Erroneous Payments in the NSLP and SBP

Program errors and the risk of erroneous payments in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) continue to be a concern. Slightly more than one in five students were certified inaccurately or erroneously denied benefits in school year (SY) 2005-06. New data estimates the gross cost of school meals erroneous payments due to certification error at about $935 million while other operational errors represent about $860 million. Most of the payment errors resulted from (1) household misreporting of income, (2) administrative errors by school districts in processing applications, and (3) errors by cashiers in counting reimbursable meals. The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) will use this new information to continue the extensive work underway, and step up its commitment to work with Congress and program partners to address these erroneous payments. Actions to reduce these errors must improve accuracy without compromising access for low-income families, must not unduly increase burden on schools, and must be cost-effective.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
School Food Authority Administration of National School Lunch Program Free and Reduced Price Eligibility Determination

From July to September 2002, the Food and Nutrition Service reviewed the free and reduced price (F/RP) eligibility determination process (i.e., application, verification, reapplication, meal ticket status) for each of 3,474 applications selected for verification in 14 large School Food Authorities in the 2001-02 school year. These SFAs enroll nearly one million children, among whom 45 percent were approved for free meals and 7 percent were approved for reduced price meals as of October 31, 2001.

Resource | Research
Medicaid Policies and Eligibility for WIC

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which administers the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), asked Mathematica Policy Research to examine more closely Medicaid's role in adjunct eligible for WIC and do not have to show further proof of income to qualify.