Child Nutrition Direct Certification Performance Awards


Direct Certification Performance Awards are designed to encourage States to ensure that all eligible children living in households receiving benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are directly certified for free school meals. Each year for three years, USDA may award a total of up to 15 States for exemplary performance in their direct certification efforts with SNAP. $2 million is available for each of two categories of awards: Outstanding Performance and Substantial Improvement, for a total of $4 million each year for FY 2012, FY 2013, and FY 2014.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Food and Nutrition Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Direct Payments for Specified Use
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: 6 Outstanding Performance and 7 Substantial Improvement in Direct Certification with SNAP. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2016: No Current Data Available
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111-296; Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C 1758(b)(4).
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Only the State agencies that administer the NSLP are eligible. There is no application needed for the Outstanding Performance Awards. NSLP State agencies that are interested in being considered for the Substantial Improvement Awards, however, must submit a “Letter of Intent to Compete.” Specific guidance goes out to the NSLP State agencies in the spring before the award is made.
Beneficiary Eligibility
The State agency that administers the NSLP may use the funds for program purposes or may transfer all or part of the funds to local SFAs for use in carrying out the program.
No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
Award Procedure
States considered for these awards will come from the pool of States that have the highest NSLP direct certification rates for children in households receiving SNAP benefits or who have shown substantial improvement in direct certification rates, and meet other criteria. USDA may award up to 15 States each year. The number of the awards given in each category—and the amount of each individual award—is at the discretion of USDA and is not subject to judicial review. States cannot win both awards in the same year. Specific guidance to NSLP State agencies is issued each year.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Awards are made each fiscal year for FY 2012, FY 2013, and FY 2014.
Not Applicable.
Not Applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not Applicable.
How may assistance be used?
The funds are to be treated as program income. Funds may be used by the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) State agency for program purposes. The NSLP State agency may transfer funds to local school food authorities (SFAs) for use in carrying out the program. These funds are only available to the State agencies administering the NSLP and to the SFAs to which the States may choose to transfer funds. The amounts of the awards and the number of awards given (up to a total of 15) are at the discretion of USDA.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
No reports are required.
No audits are required for this program.
The State agency or SFA should keep appropriate records normally required for use of program funds.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) intends to distribute awards to the winning States at the end of each fiscal year 2012, 2013, and 2014. There is no restriction placed on the time to spend the money awarded. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Headquarters Office
Cynthia Long, 3101 Park Center Drive Room 628, Alexandria, Virginia 22302. Phone: 703-305-2590.
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 14 $4,000,000; FY 15 est $0; and FY 16 est $0
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
No Data Available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not Applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: Outstanding Performance Awards for States with Direct Certification with SNAP rate of 95 - 100% was awarded to the following six States: Oklahoma, North Carolina, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, and Minnesota. The total amount awarded was $2,000,000.00.

Substantial Improvement Performance Awards were awarded to the following seven States: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Guam, and New Jersey. The total amount awarded was $2,000,000.00. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2016: No Current Data Available


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