The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP) and After School Care Program. USDA provides cash reimbursement to public schools, private nonprofit schools and residential child care institutions for nutritious meals and snacks served to children in preschool through grade 12 at a minimal cost. Families may apply for meals served free or at a reduced price based on the income level of the household. Residential child care institutions and juvenile correctional facilities may serve meals to children and youth 20 years of age or younger. Reimbursement for snacks served to children in after school programs is based on the income level of the households living in the local area or the enrolled children.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program for Elementary Schools
The Minnesota Department of Education's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)through a federal grant. The program provides all children in participating schools with a variety of free fresh fruit and vegetable snacks within the school day. And it offers an effective and creative way to introduce fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy snack options. Elementary Schools with the highest enrollment of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals are given priority for participation, based on school data reported each October.

Farm to 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.

After School Care Program
One of the School Nutrition Programs the USDA is targeting for growth is the After School Care Program. 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. See the related link for more information. Contact the Food and Nutrition Service for assistance in applying for this program.

Local Wellness Policy
The phrase ‘local wellness policy’ wasadopted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in legislation passed to combat childhood obesity. Public Law 108-265, Section 204 requires each School Food Authority that participates in USDA’s school meals program to establish a local wellness policy. At the Minnesota Department of Education, school wellness policy development is supported by a cross-agency team led by staff from Food and Nutrition Services.