Washington (AP) -- Schools are doing a better job of identifying students who are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches, but some states are much better than others.
In a report to congress, the Agriculture Department says that in the last school year 78 percent of schools identified eligible students by using government records of which households already receive aid like food stamps.
Direct certification helps eliminate the lengthy application process for free meals.
Ohio school lunch programs directly enrolled 67 percent of students from households that receive food stamps.
Some states directly enrolled more than 90 percent of students whose families were on food stamps, while a few others enrolled 50 percent or fewer.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)