P.O. BOX 2120




October 11, 2002




Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Verification and Racial/Ethnic Report for Free and Reduced Price Meal Applications

Due Date: January 20, 2003


Federal regulations governing the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs require school divisions to select annually and verify a sample of applications approved for free or reduced priced meals.


The procedures and requirements for verification can be found in the U.S. Department of Agricultures Eligibility Guidance for School Meals Manual Part 9, pages 58-76. Prototype verification letters used to notify households are attached.

The sample size must be based on the number of meal applications on file as of October 31, 2002. Students approved for free meals through the direct certification process are excluded from the sample size.


Verification must be completed on or before December 15, 2002. The date the verification process is considered complete is the date all letters have been sent to parents or guardians notifying them of the change in eligibility status, if such notification is required. Change in status must be applied to all students in the household.


The attached Verification Report Form must be submitted to the Virginia Department of Educations Office of School Nutrition Programs by January 20, 2003.


Important Points to Remember:


1. The sample size depends on the number of the actual approved applications on file, not the number of children represented.


2. Students who are found to be eligible for free meal benefits based on direct certification are not included in the sample size. However, the number of students directly certified must be recorded in the space provided at the top of the Verification Report Form.


3.              Changes in eligibility category as a result of verification must be extended to all children in a household. The results from the verification must be sent to all schools where the children affected are enrolled.


4.              Copies of the documentation used to verify all information reported on the applications and a description of the verification process must be kept on file.


Racial/Ethnic Data


Section 4 of the Verification Report Form requires school divisions to provide a racial/ethnic breakdown of all students who have applied for meal benefits. This includes those who have been approved for free meals, reduced price meals, and those students who have been denied benefits. The racial/ethnic information is also based on the number of meal applications on file as of October 31. The applications for free and reduced price meals have a section for households to indicate racial/ethnic identity. Since this information is not required for application approval, many school divisions do not complete that item. If this information is missing from the application, school divisions must acquire the information from other school records that may be available or make a determination by observation.


If you have any questions, please contact the school nutrition specialist assigned to your division or Catherine Digilio Grimes, director, School Nutrition Programs at (804) 225-2074.


Thank you for your continuing support.




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