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Fees for Lunchroom Services

EO Guidance Document #
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Guidance Documents
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PDF Icon FNS Instruction (207.40 KB)

This Instruction sets forth the policy regarding fees, other than the basic meal charge, assessed against children participating in the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, and Special Milk Programs to support the meal or milk service.


42 USC 1751 et seq.


Children participating in school nutrition programs shall not be charged any additional fees for supervision or other services provided in conjunction with the delivery of benefits under these programs. This policy is based on authorizing program legislation which clearly intends that these programs be made available to all children in participating schools. By charging fees in addition to the regular reduced price or paid meal charge, a school is limiting access to the program and imposing an additional criterion for participation.

In this regard, it has been a long-standing policy that documented costs such as lunchroom supervision can be considered allowable costs of operating a food service program. Therefore, schools are entitled to pay for this administrative expense out of the nonprofit food service account. Other options, such as seeking additional revenues from other sources, are also viable options if current funding is inadequate.

Page updated: June 14, 2021

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.