School lunch program scamFraud in the Lunchroom?
Fraud in the Lunchroom?
“Fill it out and turn it in: that’s the message thousands of school districts send parents each year when they offer applications for the federal government’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP). And each year, millions of parents comply. But new data suggest that the process for verifying eligibility for the program is fundamentally broken and that taxpayers may be picking up the tab for participation by ineligible families. The NSLP, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at an annual cost of $8 billion, serves 31 million American children each day. The program’s goal is to help low-income students succeed in public and private school classrooms by ensuring they have adequate nutrition, a mission that is compromised if substantial funds are being spent on ineligible families or the program fails to reach the neediest students.”
Via Education Next.org
Half of Sampled School Lunch Applicants Can’t Prove Eligibility
“A majority of sampled applicants enrolled in the free and reduced-price lunch program in North Carolina can’t prove eligibility to participate, according to verification summaries from the state’s 115 school districts.
An analysis of the summaries showed that 54 percent of a sample pool of applicants could not or would not provide income proof to justify their meal benefits. The entitlement, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at an annual cost of $8 billion, is meant for families at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. But the summaries suggest that many ineligible families still participate.
As Carolina Journal first reported in July, school nutrition officials have opposed a comprehensive audit of local school lunch programs, citing USDA guidelines that prohibit over-verification. Some county leaders and school board members, however, have pushed for a more thorough review, especially since the program is used by school districts often as a funding allocation tool.”
Via Carolina Journal