Nutrition and Wellness Programs
General Program Requirements for School-Based Child Nutrition Programs
Through the National School Lunch Program, public and nonprofit private schools, preprimary classes in schools, and residential child care institutions receive cash reimbursement for each meal served. Participation in the program is voluntary.
The sponsors of the program must:
- Serve meals that meet federal requirements,
- Operate a nonprofit program,
- Offer free or reduced-price meals to eligible children based on household income,
- Not identify nor discriminate against any eligible student, and
- Operate food service for all students without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
Administrative responsibilities for the programs include:
- Maintain financial records to ensure nonprofit status,
- Provide applications for meal benefits to each household,
- Approve and/or deny applications for meal benefits,
- Verify current income from a sample of households selected,
- Ensure meals meet federal nutrition standards,
- Take meal counts at the point of service,
- Conduct a monthly edit of meal counts,
- Conduct an on-site review of each school to ensure accurate counting and claiming of meals,
- Submit claims for reimbursement, and
- Competitively purchase food, supplies, equipment, and services.