Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Verification Process Guidance for SY 2021-22


This webpage reminds school food authorities (SFA) to complete their School Year (SY) 2021–22 verification process by November 15, 2021.

For the 2021–22 SY, SFAs that collected household meal applications must complete the verification process. SFAs that collected alternate household income forms (AIF), do not need to complete verification on AIF. However, all SFAs, regardless of meal application or AIF collection, are required to complete the verification report in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS)External link opens in new window or tab. no later than January 15, 2022.

Verification Process

Verification is the annual, mandatory process that confirms the eligibility of a sample of approved household meal eligibility applications in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, and the Seamless Summer Feeding Option for the 2021-22 SY. Each year, SFAs must select and verify a sample of applications approved for free and reduced-price (F/RP) meal benefits. The required sample size of applications that SFAs must verify is based on the number of approved applications the SFAs have on file on or before October 1. Each SFA must complete the verification process of the required sample size of meal applications by November 15. Please note that if meal applications were collected for the California Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), SFAs are still required to complete the verification process.

For helpful resources in completing the verification process, such as The Verification Process training video, please visit the California Department of Education (CDE) Verification Materials web page.

The verification process must confirm the eligibility status of a student household’s monthly income or if any member of the household is participating in CalFresh, California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, or that the applying student is Other Source Categorically Eligible. For further information, please read the chapter on Verification in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Eligibility Manual for School Meals on the USDA 2017 Edition of the Eligibility Manual for School Meals web pageExternal link opens in new window or tab..

Exceptions to the Verification Requirement

Verification efforts are not required:

  • For students who have been directly certified as eligible for the Free & reduced-price (F/RP) meals, including students who are documented as eligible migrant, runaway, homeless, foster, or participating in Head Start or Even Start
  • For students in residential child care institutions (RCCI); however, SFAs must verify applications for any nonresidential students attending the RCCI’s school
  • In schools where all students are served with no separate meal charge, no eligibility determination is made, and no meal reimbursement is claimed (e.g., nonpricing programs claiming only the paid rate of reimbursement)
  • In schools participating in the Community Eligibility Provision
  • In schools participating in Provisions 1, 2, or 3, except in base years, when SFAs collect applications for all students in attendance
  • In schools participating in the Seamless Summer Feeding Option and that processed only alternate household income forms
Verification Sample Size and other Reminders
Verification Report

SFAs must submit their annual verification report (VR) to the CDE in the CNIPSExternal link opens in new window or tab. by January 15. The CDE will notify SFAs by email when the report is available in the CNIPS. For details on how to complete the VR in the CNIPSExternal link opens in new window or tab. visit the CDE Verification Reporting web page.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact your School Nutrition Programs (SNP) County Specialist. The SNP County Specialist list is available in the Download Forms section of CNIPSExternal link opens in new window or tab., Form ID Caseload. You can also contact the SNP Office Technician, by phone at 916-322-3005 or 916-322-1450 to be directed to your SNP County Specialist.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Related Content
  • SNP Verification Materials
    School Nutrition Programs verification materials including applications, forms, and materials for the annual, mandatory verification process for eligibility of a sample of completed household meal eligibility applications.
  • Verification Reporting
    Instructions for local education agencies (LEAs) on submitting the verification collection report through the Child Nutrition and Information Payment System (CNIPS) using the verification report function.
Recently Posted in Nutrition
  • September 28, 2021 Tuesday at 2 Webinar (added 26-Oct-2021)
    September 28, 2021 Tuesday at 2: School Nutrition Program Webinar.
  • 2021 NSLP Equipment Assistance Grant (added 25-Oct-2021)
    Availability of the 2021 NSLP Equipment Assistance Grant Request for Application.
  • Universal Meals Listening Session Webinar #2 (added 22-Oct-2021)
    On November 2, 2021 at 2 p.m. the Nutrition Services Division (NSD) is hosting the second in a series of listening sessions for the newly established California Universal Meals Program.
  • CA LSWP Triennial Assessment Template Webinar (added 14-Oct-2021)
    The California Local School Wellness Policy Collaborative is hosting Winning at Wellness webinars every two months to provide an opportunity for schools to discuss updates in local school wellness policy requirements, best practices and resources.
  • SNP AR Prereview Training for Schools (added 14-Oct-2021)
    4. The School Nutrition Program (SNP) Administrative Review (AR) Prereview Training for schools provides an overview of the AR and shares tips, strategies, and best practices for a successful AR.

  • SNP AR Prereview Training for RCCIs (added 14-Oct-2021)
    The School Nutrition Program (SNP) Administrative Review (AR) Prereview Training for residential child care institutions (RCCI) provides an overview of the AR and shares tips, strategies, and best practices for a successful AR.
  • Procurement Options in Public Emergencies (added 11-Oct-2021)
    Procurement option information related to supply chain disruptions.
  • CACFP ECR Listening Session October 28 2:00 PM (added 06-Oct-2021)
    The California Department of Education (CDE) is announcing a Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) listening session to review the next steps for the Emergency Operational Costs Reimbursement Program.
  • COVID–19: Child Nutrition Response #101-106 (added 04-Oct-2021)
    On September 22, 2021, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service released policy memos #101-106 that provide flexibilities for service institutions operating the SFSP and SSO during unanticipated school closures due to COVID-19.
  • SNP Meal Pattern Waiver for SY 2021–22—REMINDER (added 30-Sep-2021)
    The Nutrition Services Division (NSD) is sending a reminder regarding the School Nutrition Program’s (SNP) Meal Pattern Waiver (MPW) application that applies from October 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.