TRENTON - Results of a three-year study found major flaws with the oversight of the free school lunch program that may be allowing fraudulent use of the program.
The National School Lunch Program provides meals for 31 million students who otherwise might not get lunch every day.
New Jersey Comptroller Matt Boxer says the state's free lunch program has been compromised. More than 100 people have been found lying about income and other qualifications in order to receive meals.
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Boxer says only 3 percent of the applications can be easily checked. "The other 97 percent of applications generally are not subject to verification at all," he says. "And those applicants never have to submit any pay stubs or other proof of income."
In Trenton's school district, there is a strong need for free and reduced price lunches, but school districts receive additional state and federal aid based on the number of children deemed eligible for the free lunch program. Boxer says this encourages some districts to commit fraud.
News 12 New Jersey reached out to Trenton's superintendent about the district's oversight, and what tactics the district use to get people to sign up, but did not get a response.