Maryland Among Eight States Selected to Participate in School Meals Demonstration Project Enabling Direct Certification Through Medicaid

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Brittani Riddle
202-640-1089 ext. 3039

Statement attributable to Michael J. Wilson, Director, Maryland Hunger Solutions

BALTIMORE, December 17, 2021Maryland Hunger Solutions applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its approval for the state of Maryland to participate in the Medicaid Direct Certification demonstration project. Medicaid Direct Certification was first initiated through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and allows integrating Medicaid data into the direct certification process. Maryland is one of eight states recently selected to participate in the project’s expansion. The other states added to the program are Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Students who receive free or reduced-price meals are typically certified through a school meal application. A student’s eligibility also can be determined by participation in another means tested program, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Direct certification is a process that certifies eligible children for free or reduced-price meals without applications, automatically linking children from low-income households to receive free and reduced-price school meals. It helps ensure that eligible children do not fall through the cracks, alleviating financial burdens on parents; supports greater meal reimbursements for school districts, and puts more federal funding into the economy.

Participation in the Medicaid Direct Certification project is a powerful tool in addressing childhood hunger and ensuring students across the state have access to healthy school meals.


Maryland Hunger Solutions works to end hunger and improve the nutrition, health, and well-being of children and families in Maryland.