Eligibility Guidance/Adult Price

PY 22-23 School Nutrition Program - 8/2022

SY 2022-2023 FAQs

Review the School Year 2022-2023 FAQs often for updates.

As of 7/29/2022, TDA updated the Adult Meal Calculator rates information.

The USDA commodity meal rate is updated on the USDA Foods Rate of Assistance.

Texas does not have a separate rate and is following the national rate of $0.43 cents.

19.How are adult meal prices calculated for SY 2022-2023?

Schools should calculate their adult meal prices using the base NSLP reimbursement rate and any applicable standard supplemental reimbursements (for example, severe need, 8-cent performance-based). Schools do not have to factor in the temporary supplemental reimbursements ($0.40 per lunch, $0.15 per breakfast) provided by the Keep Kids Fed Act.

The new reimbursement rates are posted, broken down by base rate + KKFA funds, on SquareMeals.org here: https://squaremeals.org/Programs/NationalSchoolLunchProgram/ReimbursementRa tes.aspx

Schools that operated SSO in SY 2021-2022 and that typically calculate the adult meal prices using the Paid reimbursement rate and the student paid charge should use the paid charge rate they last had in place when operating NSLP.

Refer to Administrator’s Reference Manual (ARM), Section 19, Meal Pricing for the standard methods used to calculate adult meal prices.

Standard Pricing Schools

Update TXUNPS application/Attachment B

July -
  1. Update DC eligibility for all students recognized on the DC report. Notate within the system what type of eligibility such as SNAP, Medicaid-Free, etc. *All students within the household may have extended benefits from DC report eligibility.
  2. Notify households of DC eligibility.

Start of the School Year -

Refer to the ARM Section 4, Determining Eligibility for eligibility guidance to include the following:

  • Providing Information about Household Applications, After the Start of School
  • Information Letter and Household Application Contents
  • Requirements for an Electronic School Meal Application System

Providing Information about Household Applications

A CE must take the following actions to provide information to parents or guardians and to determine eligibility:

1. Send a letter to households before or during the first week of school that describes the following:

− Free and reduced-price meal program

− Reduced-price income eligibility guidelines

− Information on how to apply

− Local contact information including mailing addresses

[NOTE: The local contact information provided by the CE must be for an individual who can answer questions from households. Moreover, if the household asks for assistance, the CE must follow up.]

2. Provide a household application before or during the first week of school.

3. Distribute information through a communitywide media release with the household meal application attached and with the following information:

̶ Description of the free and reduced-price school nutrition programs that the CE operates

̶ Description of the eligibility criteria including income eligibility guidelines for both free and reduced-price eligibility

̶ Instructions on how to apply

̶ Explanation that if the CE knows the eligibility of a child based on participation in a Categorical Assistance Eligible program or one of the Other Source Categorical Eligible programs

(1) that the CE will notify the household and/or

(2) that household should contact the CE if all of the children in the household are not listed on the notice

[NOTE: The CE is responsible to send the media release to appropriate news outlets. The CE is not responsible for ensuring that the release is used by media outlets and is not required to pay a media outlet to publish a release.]

4. Develop a system of communication that prevents overt identification of participants receiving free or reduced-price meals. CEs are encouraged to use the best contact information available for distributing the information letter. The information letter may be sent to households by mail, email, or in information packets. Providing Information about Household Applications, Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCIs) Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCIs) with non-residential students (commonly called day students) must distribute the information as described in this subsection to the households of the non-residential students.

[NOTE: An RCCI may choose to offer universal free meals to day students. However, the RCCI must claim reimbursable meals for day students by the correct eligibility status

—free, reduced-price, or paid. The RCCI cannot claim all day students as paid to avoid processing applications and making eligibility determinations for these students.]

*ARM Section 4, Eligibility Determination

Determining the eligibility of participants has three components:

1. Household Application—distribution and collection of household applications

2. Eligibility Determination and Eligibility Categories—defined eligibility criteria based on the following categories:

Income: Comparison of current Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs) to the income information provided on the household’s school meal application

Categorical Eligibility:

− Direct Certification for Categorical Assistance Eligible Programs: Household participation in one of the following programs:

• Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)

• Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

• Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

[NOTE: In Texas, there is a small population of students who may qualify under FDPIR. To directly certify an FDPIR eligible student, the CE must reach out to the tribal governing organization or appropriate tribal official to get a list of eligible students.]

• Medicaid Free (matched in Texas-ELMS)

• Medicaid Reduced (matched in Texas-ELMS)

− Other Source Categorical Eligible Programs: Participation in the following programs:


• Head Start and Early Head Start pre-kindergarten programs

• Homeless, including runaways and individuals displaced by declared disasters

• Migrant

• SNAP, TANF, or FDPIR eligible students who are not directly certified

See "How to DC Local Categorically Eligible Students" here.

*ARM Section 4, Eligibility Determination

TDA provides the following:

Meal Applications, Letters to Households, and Media Release Prototypes. If you use your own, we suggest you compare for the required information.

For School Year 2022-2023, TDA has updated the sample letters to households to include the new nondiscrimination statement. However, to assist school districts in communicating the transition from free meal distribution to all students in SY 2021-2022 back to the standard free/reduced-price/paid model under NSLP, TDA recommends that districts use brand new resources located on the brand new Back to Student Meal Rates page. These resources can be emailed, sent home with students, or mailed with the applications.

Direct Certification Matching Requirement in TXELMS

All CEs are required to conduct Direct Certification matching each month. This includes Direct Certification matching for CEP and P2 schools. This information will assist the CE in preparing for the Annual Verification Report, FNS-742 (USDA’s School Food Authority [SFA] Verification Collection Report, FNS-742) and the CEP yearly report.

Public Notification/Media Release

All CEs must provide the public notification.

CEP sites - To ensure that households and the public understand that meals will be served at no charge to all students, the CE should provide notifications to households and release public announcements about CEP including a notice that household applications will not be required prior to or during the first week of school. TDA has developed the Media Release for Free and Reduced-Price Meals Sample Form, Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) to assist CEs in public notification. This form is available at www.SquareMeals.org.

P2 Base Year sites - Before the beginning of the school year, the CE must notify the media and distribute a letter to households about the availability of meals at no charge to all students regardless of economic status under the NSLP and the SBP, if applicable. TDA recommends that CEs include this notification with the free and reduced-price meal household applications that must also be distributed prior to the beginning of the school year.

TDA has developed a sample of a base year announcement: Media Release for Free and Reduced-Price Meals Sample Form, Special Assistance Provisions 2— Base Year. This form is available at www.SquareMeals.org.

P2 Years 2, 3, and 4 sites - Before the beginning of each school year, the CE must distribute the P2 public media announcement which informs households about the availability of meals at no charge to all students regardless of economic status under NSLP and the SBP, if applicable, and that households do not need to submit an application.

TDA has developed a sample announcement for P2 Years, 2, 3, and 4: Media Release for Free and Reduced-Price Meals Sample, Special Assistance Provision 2—Year 2 and Successive Years. This form is available at www.SquareMeals.org.

Documentation Requirements for Special Provision Sites

The CE must retain the following types of documentation in its records retention system related to the special provision options:

• Attendance area for each special provision school

• Copy/copies of Policy Statement for Free and Reduced-Price Meals, Attachment B: Meal Count/Collection Procedures form(s) which contain information related to CEP, P2, or universal free

• Direct Certification documentation and categorical eligibility lists for all categorical programs

• Documentation of original calculations of claiming percentages

• Onsite monitoring forms

• Records supporting counting and claiming for reimbursement which includes daily meal counts, accuclaim/edit checks, and other accounting documentation related to meal service by special provision school and cumulative at the CE level

In addition, CEs operating P2 are expected to retain:

• Records supporting eligibility determinations made in the base year or first year of operation • Household applications from the P2 base year as long as the base year data is used to operate P2. If these records are lost or destroyed, the CE must reestablish its base year.

*ARM Section 5, Special Provision

Distribution and Collection of Household Applications for Purposes Other Than for NSLP or SBP

If a school is operating under a special provision option, the CE (or the school) must not collect or distribute free or reduced-price meal household applications or other types of household applications designed to collect student demographic or socioeconomic data unless the action is a requirement of the special option provision. For the two special provision options described in this section, the distribution and collection of free and reduced-price meal household applications is permissible only in the base year of P2. If the CE needs current information that would normally be collected on the free and reduced-price household application, all of costs for distribution, collection, and review for such efforts must be paid by non-school nutrition program (SNP) funds. This includes data used for PEIMS or other federal, state, or local programs. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) provides a sample form to assist CEs in collecting socioeconomic data at www.tea.texas.gov/Workarea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=25769816295. NOTE: The Income Eligibility Guidelines must be updated annually after July 1. These IEGs are located in Administration/Forms of squaremeal.s.org.

Please see the 2022-23 Livebinder for the preparation of the new program year!

Big picture

R6 Child Nutrition Contacts

Tona Holcombe

CN Program Administrative Assistant



Julie A. Smith

CN Program Specialist, SNP/SSO



Cindy Scott

CN Program Specialist, SNP/SSO



Dina Herrick

CN Program Specialist, CACFP/SFSP



This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This program is funded by the USDA.