Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program State Implementation Progress, School Year 2010-2011 Report to Congress

This report responds to the 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 systems to directly certify children from households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by School Year (SY) 2008-2009. In SY 2010-2011, 85 percent of LEAs directly certified some children from SNAP-recipient households. These LEAs enroll 97 percent of all students in NSLP schools. States and LEAs directly certified 1.9 million more children at the start of SY 2010-2011 than they did a year earlier. The share of SNAP participant children directly certified for free school meals increased to an estimated 78 percent in SY 2010-2011, up from 72 percent in SY 2009-2010.

Resource | FAQs/Q&As
Request for Applications to Participate in Demonstration Projects to Evaluate Direct Certification with Medicaid Questions and Answers

Request for Applications to Participate in Demonstration Projects to Evaluate Direct Certification with Medicaid

Resource | Policy Memos | SP03-2012
Direct Certification and Zero Benefit Households

Section 9(b)(12)(A)(i) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act restricts categorical eligibility for free school meals based on SNAP participation to children who are members of a household receiving assistance under SNAP. Therefore, a child who is a member of a household that is receiving “zero benefits” from SNAP is not categorically eligible for free meals, unless the child is categorically eligible for another reason.

Resource | Policy Memos
National School Lunch Program and Direct Certification with SNAP

This memo is to inform you of changes and clarifications related to direct certification for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Resource | Policy Memos | SP32-2011
Direct Certification Benchmarks and Continuous Improvement Plans

The purpose of this memorandum is to implement provisions contained in Section 101 of the Act which establish direct certification rate benchmarks for States and require continuous improvement plans (CIPs) from States that do not meet the benchmarks.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP31-2011
Frequency of Direct Certification Matching Activities Beginning in SY 2011-2012

The interim rule, Direct Certification and Certification of Homeless, Migrant and Runaway Children for Free School Meals, was published on April 25, 2011. One of the provisions in this rule concerns the frequency of direct certification matching activities with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and is effective July 1, 2011.

Resource | Rule
Interim Rule: Direct Certification and Certification of Homeless, Migrant and Runaway Children for Free School Meals

This rule amends the regulations affecting the determination of children's eligibility for free meals under the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program by direct certification and categorical eligibility. Conforming changes and miscellaneous technical changes are also made, as appropriate, for the Special Milk Program for Children, the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program.

Resource | Grants
FNS Fiscal Year 2011 Application for Direct Certification Planning Grants

Checklist for Developing a Direct Certification 2nd Round Planning Grant Proposal

Resource | Policy Memos | SP13-2011
Letter Method for Direct Certification

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (the Act), Public Law 111-296, was signed into law by the President on December 13, 2010.