School Lunch and Breakfast

National School Lunch Program

This program provides reimbursement for lunches served to students enrolled in twelfth grade and under in public and private, non-profit schools. Reimbursement is provided at three levels: free, reduced price, and full price (or paid). Families may submit applications to receive free or reduced-price meal benefits. In Vermont, public schools are required to participate in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program unless the school board holds a public discussion and subsequently votes to exempt the district from the requirement.

Because the program is a federal entitlement program, meaning that the government guarantees that all program meals properly claimed for reimbursement each month will be reimbursed. There are regulations to assure that meals claimed for reimbursement are truly eligible for payment. The program is administered by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Participants in the National School Lunch Program also receive a State Match payment once a year and receive federally-provided commodity foods. In general, these commodities represent 10-12% of foods used in school meals programs. The remainders are purchased through regular supply channels.

School Breakfast Program

This program provides reimbursement for breakfasts served to students in the twelfth grade or under in public and private, non-profit schools. Reimbursement is provided at three levels: free, reduced price, and full price (or paid). Families may submit applications to receive free or reduced-price meal benefits. Families do not have to submit separate applications for free school lunch and breakfast.

In addition to federal reimbursements, schools that participate in the School Breakfast Program receive a State Match payment once a year.

Program Application

Please contact the Agency of Education in order to receive application materials and information.

Food Service Equipment Grant

Funds are available to Vermont schools participating in the School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs and to those schools who wish to implement the School Lunch or Breakfast Program. The grant funds are available as matching funds to support the purchase of food service equipment that will improve the infrastructure of healthy food production and storage, and to support the purchase of Computer Point of Sale meal counting and claiming systems to ensure program accountability and integrity. This grant does not apply to equipment that has already been purchased. 

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Contact Us

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Rebecca Holcombe
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641

(802) 479-1030 | aoe.edinfo@vermont.gov
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