The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) are federally funded at specific rates set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) each year to cover the cost of free and reduced meals, as well as some additional support for paid meals. The purpose of these child nutrition programs is to provide nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free meals to children each school day. It is up to each state if participation in these programs is optional or mandated resulting in diverse circumstances.
Each state is also required to provide a certain matching amount based on a rate first set in the 1980s. Many states provide additional reimbursement on top of the matching requirement, which can range from per meal reimbursements to salary support to general funds to assist with program operations.
This report is a comprehensive summary of each State’s mandates and guidelines with an additional chart for brief reference. The information reflected in this document is to the best of SNA’s knowledge and is current as of the start of the 2013-2014 school year.