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Direct Certification

Direct Certification Overview

Direct Certification promotes participation in School Meals Programs by simplifying access to free meals for foster children and students in households with lower incomes.  DC electronically matches your student file to a state database of children in families enrolled in FoodShare, W-2 cash benefits, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), Medicaid or the foster care system.  Each School Food Authority (SFA) is able to run DC as often as it wants.  At a minimum, SFAs must run the process three times during federally required time periods each year:

  • At or around the beginning of the school year (July – September)
  • Three months after the first run (October – December)
  • Six months after the first run (January – April)

Access the Direct Certification database here: DIRECT CERTIFICATION DATABASE WEBSITE

School Codes for Direct Certification and Site Based Claiming

School Code List - Public and Private Schools (PDF) (Excel)


Contact the DPI School Nutrition Team: or (608) 267-9228