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Discontinuation of Kin-GAP


Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Policy, Action Required, Beneficial Information

To: Child Nutrition Program Operators

Attention: Food Service Directors

Number: CNP-09-2018

Date: June 2018

Supersedes: Management Bulletin 01-119, 01-220, 01-703

Subject: Discontinuation of Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment Program for Meal Eligibility


This management bulletin provides information on the discontinuation of Kinship Guardian Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) as an assistance program for determining eligibility for Child Nutrition Programs (CNP). Effective with the start of School Year (SY) 2018–19, any reference to Kin-GAP should not appear on CNP eligibility materials as a categorical program that automatically qualifies children for free meals, or children as Tier I at day care homes. CNP Operators should no longer certify meal applications based on Kin-GAP participation after July 1, 2018.

The California Department of Education (CDE) has consulted with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and determined that receipt of Kin-GAP no longer conveys categorical eligibility for a child. The only assistance programs that automatically qualify all children in a household for free meals or milk are CalFresh, California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), and Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.

Categorical eligibility for children receiving Kin-GAP assistance began in 2001, when the CDE Nutrition Services Division issued a management bulletin addressing the Kin-GAP population with respect to free and reduced-price school meals. The CDE determined that Kin-GAP children were categorically eligible to receive free meals, because the funding was drawn from Title IV-A block grant funds under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, known as CalWORKs in California) program and Kin-GAP recipients were subject to many of the same requirements as CalWORKS recipients. The CDE therefore concluded that Kin-GAP recipients met the criterion for categorical eligibility under federal law and added Kin-GAP to California’s household meal application.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the CDSS have confirmed that due to several changes in recent years to the Kin-GAP program, categorical eligibility is no longer permissible.

What do CNP Operators need to do?
  • As of July 1, 2018, CNP Operators must remove all reference to Kin-GAP from all household materials (meal application, letter to household, instructions, notification letter, and verification materials).
  • CNP Operators must no longer approve a meal application with a Kin-GAP indicator or case number after July 1, 2018. CNP Operators that receive an application with a Kin-GAP case number should contact the household for income information unless the child was previously identified through the direct certification (DC) process.
  • CNP Operators can only determine meal eligibility for a child who previously qualified for free meals through Kin-GAP using the DC process or through the submission of a complete meal application by the child’s household. Please note that the child may or may not qualify for free meals because of this change in policy.
  • If a household submits a meal application with Kin-GAP documented as a categorical program for meal eligibility, the CNP Operator will need to contact the household to complete the meal application to qualify students based on household size and income.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject and the School Nutrition Programs (SNP), please contact your county’s SNP Specialist. A list of SNP Specialists is available in the Download Forms section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS), Form ID Caseload. You can also contact the Northern SNP Unit Office Technician (OT), by phone at 916-322-3005, or the Southern SNP Unit OT by phone at 916-322-1450, or call 800-952-5609, Option 2, to be directed to your SNP Specialist.

If you have any questions regarding this subject and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), please contact your CACFP county specialist. A list of CACFP Specialists is available in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS, Form ID Caseload. You may also contact the CACFP OT by phone at 916-327-2991, to be directed to your CACFP Specialist.

The Seamless Summer Option and the Summer Food Service Program are both overseen by the Summer Meals Unit (SMU). If you have any questions regarding this subject and the Summer Meal Programs (SMP), please contact your SMP Specialist. A list of SMP Specialists is available in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS, Form ID SFSP 01. You may also contact the SMU OT by phone at 916-322-8323 or 800-952-5609, Option 3, or by e-mail at sfsp@cde.ca.gov, to be directed to your SMP Specialist.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Monday, June 24, 2019
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