Under direct certification, States and districts can use information provided by SNAP-, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families- (TANF), and Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations- (FDPIR) agencies to establish that a student is a member of a household participating in one of these
programs and is thus automatically eligible to receive free meals. These children can therefore be certified to receive free meal benefits without the household having to submit an application. Certain foster care, migrant, runaway, and homeless children may also qualify in this way and become certified for free meals without submitting an application, based on documentation submitted to the district by an appropriate State or local agency. The eligibility of directly certified students is not subject to the verification process.
United States Department of Agriculture, The National School Lunch Program Direct Certification Improvement Study: Main Report http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/ops/NSLPDirectCertificationImprovement.pdf