School Nutrition Programs

Food and Nutrition Service helps local schools and districts work to decrease salt and fat, increase fiber and use low fat dairy products, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables in students' meals. Find more resources, guidelines and information about these programs on our website sections about Health and Wellness, School Nutrition Programs (especially Meal Patterns and Menu Planning) and the Food Distribution Program (see the whole grain pilot program information under Partners). The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity provided a number of recommendations on healthy food in schools. Read the report on the Let's Move website.

Community Eligibility Provision
Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is a new, innovative program that makes it easier for high need schools to serve free meals to all students. The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 requires CEP to become a nationwide option for the 2014-15 school year. Currently, 11 states are piloting CEP opportunities.

To be eligible, local education authorities and/or schools must meet a minimum level of identified students for free meals, agree to serve free lunches and breakfasts to all students; and agree to cover with non-federal funds any costs of providing free meals to all students above amounts provided in federal assistance. View more information on the Community Eligibility Provision.

Smart Snacks in School
The Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards support better health for our kids and echo the good work already taking place in schools across the country. The new standards preserve flexibility for time-honored traditions like fundraisers and bake sales, and provide ample transition time for schools. USDA is committed to working closely with students, parents, school stakeholders and the food and beverage industries to implement the new guidelines, and make the healthy choice the easy choice for America’s young people. View more information on Smart Snacks in School.

Farm to School is a nationwide collaborative effort to connect school districts with local farmers for the purpose of serving healthy school meals while utilizing local fresh foods. Farm to School aims to meet the diverse needs of school nutrition programs in an efficient manner, to support regional and local farmers and thereby strengthen local food systems and to provide support for health and nutrition education. View more information and resources on Farm to School.

The After School Care Program is one of the School Nutrition Programs the USDA is targeting for growth. If you provide an after school care program which meets regularly, is organized and supervised and has an educational or enrichment component, you may be eligible to claim reimbursement for snacks through this program. Contact us to apply for this program.

Required nondiscrimination statement: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Program Regulations
Current program regulations, in the federal Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), are available on the U.S. Government Printing Office website:
 
National School Lunch Program (7 CFR 210) 
School Breakfast Program (7 CFR 220) 
Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced-Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools (7 CFR 245)