Paid Meals to Students – Minimum Prices
Paid lunches: School food authorities are required each year to evaluate their paid lunch prices for students and determine how much prices must be increased for the next school year. The guidelines for evaluating student lunch prices are provided in the annually updated Paid Lunch Equity spreadsheet and related documents on the School Nutrition Programs / Financial Management page of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) website.
Paid breakfasts: School food authorities should annually review whether paid breakfast prices need to be increased to meet breakfast costs. “Paid lunch equity” calculations do not apply to school breakfast.
Reduced-price Meals to Students – Maximum Prices
Reduced-price lunches: The maximum reduced-price lunch charge to students continues to be 40 cents.
Reduced-price breakfasts: State law requires schools that have a school breakfast program to offer breakfasts at no charge to students who qualify for reduced-price breakfasts. Minn. Stat. § 124D.1158.
State payments provide the 30 cents per reduced-price breakfast to school food authorities that families otherwise would have paid. Breakfasts served at no charge to students who qualify for reduced-price meals must be accurately claimed for program reimbursement as reduced-price breakfasts, not free breakfasts.
Meals Served to Adults and Other Non-Reimbursable Meals – Minimum Prices
School Nutrition Programs funds may not subsidize non-program meals.* Meals purchased by adults (and other non-reimbursable meals such as second meals) must be priced high enough so that the cost of the meal is fully paid by the customer.
Minimum Adult Prices: Breakfast: $1.60 Lunch: $3.35
The minimum meal prices for adults are set by the current rate of reimbursement for student free meals, including the value of U.S. Department of Agriculture Foods, rounded up to the nearest five cents.
* Meals may be provided at no charge only to “program” adults, as defined in the memorandum Prohibition on Subsidizing Meals for Non-Program Adults on the School Nutrition Programs / Financial Management page of the MDE website.