Topic: School Meals

Broad-based Categorical Eligibility and School Meals

Food Research & Action Center

The Trump administration recently proposed a rule to gut states’ option to use broad-based categorical eligibility (Cat El) for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). If adopted, the rule would eliminate SNAP benefits for 3.1 million people, and jeopardize more than 500,000 children’s access to free school breakfast and lunch. Broad-based categorical eligibility allows more families that get services funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to qualify for SNAP benefits if their net incomes are at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty line.

New FRAC Report Elevates Community Eligibility as a Key to Hunger-Free Schools

Child Nutrition Policy Analyst

Participation in community eligibility — a powerful tool for high-need schools to offer breakfast and lunch at no cost to all students while eliminating the need for families to fill out school meal applications — is growing across the nation, according to a new FRAC report released this month. Community Eligibility: The Key to Hunger-Free Schools, School Year 2018–2019 shows that nearly 13.6 million children in nearly 28,500 schools across the country (64 percent of all eligible schools) are using the provision in the 2018–2019 school year.