School Lunch and Breakfast

National School Lunch Program

These programs provide reimbursement for breakfasts 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, the state pays the household portion of the reduced-price meal. 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.

The programs are federal entitlement programs, meaning the government guarantees that all eligible program meals will be reimbursed. There are rules and regulations that govern meal eligibility. Participants receive a State Match payment once a year for NSLP and SBP and receive USDA Foods (include link to the USDA Foods page) based on lunches served. In general, these commodities represent 10-12% of foods used in school meals programs. The remaining food is purchased through conventional supplies.

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.

2020-2021 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. 

Spring 2020 Federal NSLP Equipment Grants

We are now accepting applications for Spring 2020 Federal Food Service Equipment Grants. Below, please find the memo and application.  Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. Please note that there are a number of changes to this round of equipment grants.  For this round, the minimum allowable dollar value of the requested equipment has been lowered from $5,000 to $1,000.  In addition, SFAs may submit applications for sites with free and reduced percentages below 50% and for sites that have received a previous federal equipment grant, although those applications will be funded only after all other applications have been funded. 

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Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
1 National Life Drive, Davis 5
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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Phone: (802) 828-1130 | Fax: (802) 828-6430
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