National School Lunch Program
These programs provide reimbursement for breakfasts and 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.
Child Nutrition Programs Grant Opportunities
For information regarding available Child Nutrition Program grants, please check the Child Nutrition Grants topic on the AOE Resource Center.