P. O. BOX 2120
November 8, 1996


TO: Division Superintendents
Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Verification Report for Free and Reduced Price Meal Applications 
Racial Ethnic Report on Free and Reduced Price Meal Recipients

  1. Verification Data
  The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981 (P.L. 97-35) directed
  the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop
  regulations requiring school divisions to verify income
  information submitted on applications for free and reduced
  price meals.
  Verification of information on pupil applications for free and
  reduced price meals must be conducted on a random or focused
  sample, or on all applications by December 13, 1996.
  Each school division is required to submit a report of its
  verification activities to the School Nutrition Programs,
  Virginia Department of Education by January 20, 1997.  A copy
  of the report form is attached.  Please note students who are
  determined to be eligible for free meal benefits based on
  Department of Social Services files are not included in the
  verification file.  The number of students directly certified
  is reported in the top section of the report.  When "Family
  Applications" are used, the sample is drawn based on the
  number of applications on file.  The number of children
  affected by changes in verification is reported.
  A change in eligibility category affects all students in the
  household unless a child is approved on the basis of an Aid to
  Families of Dependent Children (AFDC) number rather than
  income or food stamps.  The verification results must be sent
  to all schools who have brothers or sisters of a student whose
  eligibility status changes.
  Verification is completed at the time all letters have been
  sent to parents notifying them of a change in the eligibility
  status.  If a family fails to cooperate with the verification
  procedure and reapplies later in the school year, the reported
  income must be verified at the time of the second application.
  The verification procedures and requirements are described in
  Part 7, page 41-60 in the Eligibility Guidance for School
  Meals Manual (green) and supplements.  If your school division
  has selected the sample of applications to be verified from
  one type of school (high school, middle or elementary
  schools), the school type must be rotated each year.  Please
  ensure that adequate documentation is used to verify all
  incomes reported on the applications.  Copies of the
  documentation  and a description of the verification process
  must be kept on file. 
  2. Racial/Ethnic Data
  U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Civil Rights
  Regulations governing the school feeding programs (National
  School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program) mandate
  that program benefits be provided to all eligible individuals
  without discrimination on the basis of their race, color,
  national origin, sex, age, or handicap.  The civil rights
  compliance regulations require specific activities, including
  a report of the number of students approved for free meals,
  reduced price meals, and the number of students denied
  assistance in each of the following racial/ethnic groups: 
  American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander,
  Black (not of Hispanic Origin), Hispanic, White (not of
  Hispanic Origin).  The racial/ethnic information is determined
  from the applications on file as of October 31 of each school
  Applicants are requested to indicate their ethnic background
  on their applications for free and reduced price meals.  Since
  that information is not required for application approval,
  many do not complete that item.  Where the information is
  missing from the application, school divisions/schools are to
  secure the information from other school records which may be
  available.  In lieu of other records, school officials should
  make a determination by observation.
  School Nutrition Programs Specialists will be available to
  assist you.  If you need assistance or information, please
  contact a Specialist in the School Nutrition Programs at (804)
  Attachments: This memo and its attachments will be sent to
               the superintendent's office
  Authority:   P.L. 97-35 Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981
  Authority:   Title VI of Civil Rights Act