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When a household is selected for verification, the SFA must provide the household with a letter or an email if the parent or guardian contact information is known informing a household of its selection and must provide a list of the documents or other forms of evidence the household must submit to the SFA. When the SFA uses agency records or direct verification to confirm eligibility, a letter informing the household of its selection for verification is not required, as verification is completed. Please see the “Direct Verification” section of this booklet for more information on direct verification.

It is recommended that SFAs use the NYSED prototype “Letter to Households-Notification of Selection for Verification of Eligibility” letter (Attachment A) as this prototype letter contains all required information.

The notification letter must include:

  • An indication that the household was selected for verification
  • If a child is receiving benefits based on income, a list of the types of acceptable information that may be provided to confirm current income:
    • Pay stubs;
    • Award letters from assistance agencies for benefits such as Social Security or SSI; or
    • Support payment decrees from courts;
  • If a child is receiving benefits based on categorical eligibility, the household may provide proof that a child or any household member is receiving benefits under an Assistance Programs (SNAP/TANF/FDPIR) or that a child is Other Source Categorically Eligible instead of providing income information;
  • A warning that information must be provided by a date specified by the SFA and that failure to do so will result in termination of benefits
  • Notice that documentation of income or receipt of assistance may be provided from any point in time between the months prior to application and the time the household is required to provide income documentation
  • A modified Use of Information Statement as follows: 

The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information requested in order to verify your children’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meals. If you do not provide the information or provide incomplete information, your children may no longer receive free or reduced-price meals

  • Name of an SFA official who can answer questions and provide assistance
  • A toll-free number for parents to obtain assistance. This can be a local number within the district.  It cannot be a long-distance call
  • The full USDA Nondiscrimination Statement.

Note:  You do not need to collect social security numbers of all adults in the household as part of the verification process. Ensure all notification letters are updated and do not request this information.

Any communications with households concerning verification must be in an understandable and uniform format and, to the maximum extent practicable, in a language that parents and guardians can understand.

Last updated
September 23, 2022

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted 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; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.