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 provision that makes it easier for high-need schools to serve free meals to all students.

In order to participate, 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. To read more, choose the Community Eligibility Provision page at left.

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. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (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.

Read the nondiscrimination statement.

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)

State Statutes
State statutes related to School Nutrition Programs.
School Breakfast and Lunch: Minnesota Statutes, sections 124D.111 – 124D.1195
Minnesota Statutes, section 471.345: Uniform Municipal Contracting Law
Minnesota  Statutes, section 123B.52: Contracts 

  • ACT Testing and Flexible Meal Service - 3/17/15
    Since ACT testing may interfere with regularly scheduled breakfast and lunch meal service times in your high schools, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) will allow flexible meal service times when the ACT Test is administered to 11th-grade students on April 28, 2015 and again on test make-up day, May 12, 2015.
  • School Nutrition Program and Food Distribution Program Important Dates - 10/13/14
    This chart provides a calendar view of important dates and task School Nutrition Program sponsors must complete annually.
  • Listserv Subscribe/Unsubscribe Form - 4/11/12
    E-mail listservs are used to communicate important and late-breaking program information to customers. Complete and submit form to be included on FNS listservs for indicated Child Nutrition Programs.