National School Lunch Program
The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946.
Guidance and Resources
Offer Versus Serve (OVS) - Updated 2014 Guidance Manual
Tools for Schools - Tools for Schools offers topic-specific policy and resource materials to assist schools in meeting the new nutrition standards. Refer to the latest regulations, find free nutrition education curricula, or get ideas for adding tasty, kid-friendly foods to enhance your school meals program.
- Nutrition Education and Promotion
- Recipes and Culinary Techniques for Schools
- School Nutrition Improvement
- Policy Guidance
Nutrition Standards for School Meals – The final rule, Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, updated the meal patterns and nutrition standards for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs to align them with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Improvements to the school meal programs, largely based on recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, are expected to enhance the diet and health of school children, and help decrease childhood obesity.
Certification of Compliance - The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act provides an additional 6-cents per lunch reimbursement to school districts that certified to be in compliance with the new meal patterns.
MDE School Nutrition Programs Handout on Grains