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Direct Certification Matching Process (DCMP)

Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, the Child Nutrition Program Administration (CNPA) developed a new Direct Certification Matching Process (DCMP) to provide increased access to free meals to children entitled to free meal benefits and allow for more accurate reporting, better policy and decision making at the local, State and federal levels.

Direct Certification (DC) data is no longer accessible through the Child Nutrition Management System (CNMS). The DCMP process must now be completed through the NYSED Business Application Portal available on the NYSED website at

The new State Match feature provides users with access to direct certification (DC) data (e.g., SNAP and Medicaid lists) and to DC data that has been matched to New York State student records through the New York State Student Identification System (NYSSIS).

The NYSSIS system is already in-use by school personnel responsible for assigning unique IDs to students. NYSSIS uses a sophisticated matching engine to identify duplicate student records and discourage the creation of multiple student IDs for the same child. The engine is also being used behind the scenes by the State Match system to match DC records to student records maintained in the NYSSIS system. State Matching is a USDA best practice as it relieves School Food Authorities (SFAs) from having to match at the local level. Rather than DC data alone, the State Match system will deliver to SFAs student identifiers (e.g., a local ID and a NYSSIS ID) appended to DC data for easy import into food service management or other local student information systems.

All SFAs are required to complete the online DCMP process a minimum of three times a year. The new system processes DC data monthly; therefore, SFA’s are encouraged as a best practice for DCMP to access the data more frequently to ensure that children entitled to free meal benefits receive them. DCMP users are required to certify that this information will remain confidential in compliance with the disclosure statement provided. The online DCMP helps reduce the waste from paper applications and the burden on low income households to return applications. The DCMP is intended to certify all eligible students receiving SNAP and certain Medicaid eligibles (determined by the Medicaid Administering Agency at or below 133 percent of the Federal poverty guidelines before the application of blocks, exceptions or disregards).

More information on Direct Certification can be found further in this manual and on the Child Nutrition Knowledge Center (CNKC) website.

Meal Charge Policy

Beginning with school year 2017-2018, School Food Authorities (SFAs) in New York State are required to have a written and clearly communicated policy to address student meal charges when payment cannot be collected at the point of service. Charge policies should be reasonable, well-defined and maintain the integrity and dignity of students and households to minimize harm to the student.

Prohibition Against Meal Shaming Plan

Beginning with school year 2018-2019, all public, non-public, and charter School Food Authorities (SFAs) in New York State that require students to pay for a school breakfast and/or lunch meal must develop a written plan to ensure that a student whose parent or guardian has unpaid meal charges is not shamed or treated differently than a student whose parent or guardian does not have unpaid school meal charges. New York State legislation now requires SFAs to provide students with the reimbursable meal of their choice and specifically identifies other prohibited actions to decrease student distress or the embarrassment associated with not having adequate funds to pay for a school meal. The new State plan has several of the same or similar requirements as the federal National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Unpaid Meal Charge policy that took effect July 1, 2017.  SFAs may opt to amend this policy to include the new State criteria or can develop a separate State specific plan.  SED has also created a template plan that SFAs can use to meet both the State and federal requirements.  SFAs are required to submit their completed plans to the New York State Education Department (SED) electronic mailbox via by July 1, 2018. SFAs should refer to the memo titled “New York State Legislation – Prohibition Against Meal Shaming” for additional information and guidance. This memo can be found on the CNKC and at the following link:

Flexibility in Determining the Effective Date for Children receiving free or reduced price benefits
School Breakfast Program (SBP) Outreach

SFAs participating in the School Breakfast Program must actively promote and perform outreach activities to increase awareness of the School Breakfast Program and increase participation. Efforts should be documented and kept on file with Program records for three years plus the current school year.

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Outreach

SFAs participating in the School Breakfast Program and/or National School Lunch Programs must notify families of locations that operate the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) prior to the end of the school year. SFAs should provide the toll free number for families to call (1-866-3-HUNGRY, 1-877-3-HAMBRE or text ‘FOOD’ or “COMIDA’ to 877-877) to find a location that operates the SFSP and direct families to the Child Nutrition Knowledge Center (CNKC) website. Families located in NYC can also dial 211 or 311.  Efforts should be documented and kept on file with Program records for three years plus the current school year. 

Zero Income

Applications where the family has reported zero (0) income must be given free meal benefits for the entire school year from the time the application was received and approved. Any income field left blank is a positive indication of no income and certifies there is no income to report.

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)

Schools where at least 40 percent of enrolled students have been deemed free eligible through a means other than an income application (i.e., directly certified using electronic SNAP or Medicaid data, homeless, migrant, runaway, foster, and head start) as of April 1, 2018, may participate in the Community Eligibility Provision for the 2018-2019 school year. The schools will receive reimbursement in the free and paid category based on the percentage of directly certified students as noted above times a multiplier (as written in federal regulation, currently 1.6). For more details about participation and how to apply, please see the CEP Memo on the CNKC websiteDeadline to apply to participate in the 2018-2019 school year was June 30, 2018.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

The revised 2015 Nondiscrimination Statement must be used on all Child Nutrition Program materials, including websites, pamphlets, brochures and all correspondence sent to families for program purposes. The USDA Nondiscrimination Statement must include all spacing as it appears in the memo ""And Justice for All" Posters and updated Civil Rights Nondiscrimination Statement" on the Child Nutrition Knowledge Center (CNKC) website.

Civil Rights Requirements and Annual Training

SFAs participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs are required to collect data of all potential participants with regard to race and ethnicity specifically. The data already being collected as a requirement of the No Child Left Behind Act may also be used for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The civil rights compliance report form is available on the Child Nutrition website detailing the specific annual requirements.

Annual Civil Rights training must be provided by the SFA for all staff, including front line cafeteria staff who interact directly with program applicants and participants. A Power Point presentation is available on the Child Nutrition Knowledge Center (CNKC) website for staff training. A record of the annual training, including a sign-in sheet, the date, location, and who provided the training, must be kept for three years plus the current year.

LEAs must comply with all Civil Rights and non-discrimination requirements in Subpart A and FNS Instruction 113- 1.

Change in Authorizing Signature

There is no federal requirement that describes who must sign Child Nutrition Program documents. The Child Nutrition Program regulations specify that an official of the SFA make written application to the state agency for any school in which it desires to operate the program. The SFA means the governing body responsible for the administration of one or more schools and the legal authority to operate Child Nutrition Programs.

The signature of the district clerk, as well as an officer of the board of education, such as president or vice president, is accepted for the forms.

The board of education may delegate the chief administrative officer to act as its agent with regard to entering into contracts and agreements for the Child Nutrition Programs. This policy will not permit the chief administrative officer’s signature in lieu of board action, but will permit the chief administrative officer to sign, in all respects, after the board resolution.

Last updated
June 26, 2018

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)     mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)     email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Los demás programas de asistencia nutricional del FNS, las agencias estatales y locales, y sus beneficiarios secundarios, deben publicar el siguiente Aviso de No Discriminación:

De conformidad con la Ley Federal de Derechos Civiles y los reglamentos y políticas de derechos civiles del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE. UU. (USDA, por sus siglas en ingles), se prohíbe que el USDA, sus agencias, oficinas, empleados e instituciones que participan o administran programas del USDA discriminen sobre la base de raza, color, nacionalidad, sexo, discapacidad, edad, o en represalia o venganza por actividades previas de derechos civiles en algún programa o actividad realizados o financiados por el USDA.

Las personas con discapacidades que necesiten medios alternativos para la comunicación de la información del programa (por ejemplo, sistema Braille, letras grandes, cintas de audio, lenguaje de seas americano, etc.), deben ponerse en contacto con la agencia (estatal o local) en la que solicitaron los beneficios. Las personas sordas, con dificultades de audición o discapacidades del habla pueden comunicarse con el USDA por medio del Federal Relay Service [Servicio Federal de Retransmisión] al (800) 877-8339. Además, la información del programa se puede proporcionar en otros idiomas.

Para presentar una denuncia de discriminación, complete el Formulario de Denuncia de Discriminación del Programa del USDA, (AD-3027) que está disponible en linea en: y en cualquier oficina del USDA, o bien escriba una carta dirigida al USDA e incluya en la carta toda la información solicitada en el formulario. Para solicitar una copia del formulario de denuncia, llame al (866) 632-9992. Haga llegar su formulario lleno o carta al USDA por:

(1)     correo: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; o

(3)     correo electró

Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.