Superintendent's Memo #147-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

May 20, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Use of Social Security Numbers in Household Applications for Free or Reduced-Price Meals

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (the Act), Public Law 111-296, amends  statutory requirements for collection of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) in all federal Child Nutrition Programs. The purpose of this memorandum is to provide guidance on the implementation of this requirement.

Section 301 of the Act amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) by removing the requirement that the adult household member who signs a household application for free and reduced-price meals must also provide his or her complete SSN as a condition of eligibility. As amended, the NSLA now requires only the last four digits of the SSN to be provided on the application. The Act also removes the requirement for the SSN of each household member to be collected to verify applications.  These new requirements increase privacy protections for households.

All household applications and supporting materials for the 2011-2012 school year must be updated to reflect these requirements no later than July 1, 2011. The Department of Education (VDOE) will provide updated prototype household applications and supporting materials to school divisions via the School Nutrition Program Web-enabled system (SNPWeb). School divisions must either use these VDOE prototypes or submit customized household meal applications and supporting materials for review and approval as part of the Annual Agreement to Participate in the School Nutrition Programs (Agreement). A Superintendent’s Memorandum with detailed requirements for the Agreement will be issued separately.

School divisions are advised to begin the process to update forms, software, and databases to reflect this new requirement. Effective July 1, 2011, school divisions may no longer collect the adult’s complete SSN as part of the process for meal eligibility or verification. Data collection tools must be updated to eliminate the recording and storage of the complete SSN for the adult who signs the meal application and instead revised to record and store only the last four digits of the adult’s SSN.

For questions or additional information about this provision, contact the school nutrition program specialist assigned to your division or office of school nutrition programs staff at (804) 225-2074.