Every day, thousands of Indiana schoolchildren enjoy a free or reduced-price lunch-a federal benefit for low-income families. Many of those children are likely eligible for government-funded public health insurance as well, but lack of coordination between state agencies dealing with public benefits prevented the programs from sharing information with each other.
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration handles eligibility determinations for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The state Department of Education administers the national school lunch program. Each of the state agencies has its own mission and its own set of legislative mandates to implement.
Indiana Covering Kids & Families set as one of its early goals to stimulate conversation and collaboration between the two agencies.