Medicaid now certifies kids to get free lunch in Maryland – CBS Baltimore

(AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has added Maryland and seven more to the 19 states where students receiving Medicaid coverage will be automatically added to the school’s free or reduced-price lunch program.

Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina and South Carolina are now part of a program of protests that began in the fall of 2012, a news release said Tuesday.

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“Providing reliable access to nutritious meals has never been more important than as Louisiana continues,” said John Dupre, state director for child nutrition programs for the Louisiana Department of Education. recovering from the effects of recent hurricanes, floods and pandemics.

The USDA said Tuesday’s action expands on demonstration projects that have certified more than 1 million students free rides and nearly 260,000 reduced-price meals since the 2012-2013 school year.

“Direct certification works to reduce errors in the administration of the school meal program and ensure children in need are not mistakenly left behind,” the southwest region administrator of USDA Food and Nutrition Service, said Bill Ludwig.

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The agency says the 27 states currently involved represent about 75% of students nationwide.

Direct certification makes it easier for children from low-income households to receive free and reduced-price school meals.

Historically, most students who received such meals signed up for the program. Families participating in certain other programs, such as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, also receive free or lower-cost meals.

“Adding Medicaid to the list of benefit programs that can ‘directly certify’ students to receive free or reduced price meals is a win-win for students, families, and staff.” school set. This means less paperwork for families and fewer school meal applications for school districts to process and verify,” the bulletin said.

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