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Office for Food and Nutrition Programs

Access to Department of Transitional Assistance Direct Certification Information for School Year 2009-2010

To:Child Nutrition Program Directors
From:Kathleen C. Millett
Nutrition, Health and Safety
Date:August 25, 2009


The sorting of students eligible for free meals through the data transfer of Food Stamp Eligibility information from the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) has been completed. As a result of this match, these children are categorically eligible to receive free meals in schools. In some cases, you will find that students previously reported as non-eligible or as eligible for reduced price meals are eligible for free meals. For students that we were unable to match, the Department of Transitional Assistance will be mailing notices to households as they did in the past.

The information by school district of students that qualify for free meals through this process has been posted to the Department's security portal. The students listed, as "MFLC" on the direct certification file are eligible for free meals.

Match CodeMatch Code Description
MFLCMatch on First Name, Last Name and DOB
MFILCMatch on First Initial, Last Name and DOB
MFLPDMatch on First Name, Last Name and Partial DOB
MFPLCMatch on First Partial Last Name and DOB:the First name and DOB match perfectly and the Last name matches for the first 4 letters.

Other designations may require additional follow up with student information to confirm the student's status. In some cases, previous information reported by the district technology director for free meal eligibility might need to be updated. To access the DTA direct certification file through the ESE Security Portal, follow these steps:

  • You will find the Security Portal on the ESE website at
  • Under the "Select Program Area" drop down box, scroll down and select "Security Portal" You will be prompted to enter your user id and password. (Note: If you have not already been assigned a user id and password, this should be available from your district directory administrator.)

After you log in:

  • Select Drop Box Central
  • The option you are interested in for the direct certification files is "Nutrition Services". Select that.
  • Next you should be prompted to select an "organization "and "your district's name" should be listed.
  • Once you select "your district's name", and click "Next", you should be connected with a screen where you can view the Out Box, and the excel file should be listed there.

The files contain the following fields:

dta_fnamefor the Department of Transitional Assistance first name of child
dta_lnamefor the Department of Transitional Assistance last name of child
dta_dobfor the Department of Transitional Assistance Date of Birth
dta_city for the Department of Transitional Assistance city/town information
ap_id for the Department of Transitional Assistance identification
org_codefor the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's organization code
sasidfor the statewide student identification code
lasidfor the locally assigned student identifier
school for the code of school where the student attends
sims_fname for the student's first name as in SIMS
sims_mnamefor the student's middle name as in SIMS
sims_lnamefor the student's last name as reported in SIMS
sims_dobfor the student's date of birth as reported in SIMS
low_incfor the student's last reported status in SIMS (01 for free eligible, 00 for not reported low income, 02 for reduced price meals eligible)
genderfor the gender of the student
gradefor the grade attending
town_cdfor the town code
sims_townfor the name of the town in SIMS
match_tpfor the way the match was completed.
match_desc for the criteria match. In some cases, updates need to be done for students that do not have an "MFLC" designation in the match_tp

All households of students approved through direct certification must be notified of the determination. A sample letter is available on the Nutrition website. Questions regarding issues related to accessing the information should be directed to the technology hotline at 781-338-3282. Other questions may be directed to the School Nutrition section at 781-338-6498.

Last Updated: August 27, 2009
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