U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, to issue annual reports to Congress that assess the effectiveness of efforts to directly certify children for free school meals under the National School Lunch Program. This project involves producing the eighth annual report to Congress assessing direct certification efforts for the 2014–2015 school year. These annual reports provide state-by-state estimates of key direct certification performance measures, including the percentage of children participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program directly certified for free school meals.
As required by the Health, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the estimates help identify states with direct certification rates that fall below 95 percent that, as a result, must adopt direct certification improvement plans. We are also describing best practices in states with successful or improved direct certification systems.