Pricing of Meals for Students, Debt, Alternate Meals

Meal Pricing Requirements for School Year 2014-15

No Meal Charges for Students Approved for Free School Meals and Some Other Students

In addition to free meals for students approved for free meal benefits, meals must be provided at no charge as follows:

Meals (lunch and, if applicable, breakfast) must be provided at no charge to students approved for reduced-price meals. (Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.111 and section 124D.1158.) State payments provide the 30 cents per reduced-price breakfast and 40 cents per reduced-price lunch that otherwise would be paid from families.

Note: These students must be correctly listed as eligible for reduced-price school meals. These meals must be correctly claimed as reduced-price meals.

Breakfasts must be served at no charge to participating kindergarten students who are not approved for free/reduced-price meal benefits. (Minnesota Statute, section 124D.1158). A state payment of $1.30 provides the meal payment that otherwise would be paid from families.

Note: These kindergarten students must be correctly listed as eligible for paid school meals. These breakfasts must be correctly claimed as paid breakfasts.

Minimum Prices for Paid Student Meals

Paid lunches: School food authorities are required each year to evaluate their paid lunch prices for students and determine how much, if any, 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 (PLE) spreadsheet and related documents. PLE documents are available on the SNP 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.

Minimum Prices for Meals Served to Adults and Other Non-Program Meals

School Nutrition Programs funds may not subsidize meals served to adults or other non-program meals such as second meals. The meal price must be set high enough so that the cost of the meal is fully paid by the customer. (Meals may be provided at no charge only to “program” adults, as defined in Prohibition on Subsidizing Meals for Non-Program Adults on the SNP Financial Management page of the MDE website.)

The minimum meal prices for adults are revised each year, based on the current reimbursement rates for free meals served to students, including the value of U.S. Department of Agriculture Foods, rounded up to the nearest five cents.

Minimum Adult Prices for School Year 2014-15

Breakfast: $1.65

Lunch: $3.40