|DATE:||November 1, 2002|
|SUBJECT:||Meals Served to Students Placed in Schools Not Participating in the National School Lunch Program|
Questions have arisen regarding the eligibility for reimbursement of meals served to children who are placed by a public school district in special schools or institutions (hereafter termed “pupil placement”) which are either not eligible to participate or choose not to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and/or the School Breakfast Program (SBP). Only those meals served to children in an eligible “school” that participates in the NSLP and/or the SBP may be reimbursed.
Section 12(d)(3) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 USC 1760(d)(3))(NSLA) and section 15(3) of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 USC 1784(3)) define an eligible “school” as any public or nonprofit private school of high school grade or under, and any public or licensed nonprofit private residential child care institution. NSLP and SBP regulations found at and 220.2 require that, in the case of public or nonprofit private schools and institutions, they must be recognized as part of the educational system in the state in order to be eligible schools for program purposes. For profit schools/institutions are not eligible to participate in the NSLP/SBP.
When a public school district is unable to provide needed services directly to children, it may contract with a school to provide the needed educational services. For example, public school districts may place children who are discipline problems in an alternative school or place disabled children in a specialized school.
The key to whether the meals served to these children may be claimed for reimbursement depends on whether the school at which the meal is served participates in the NSLP/SBP. Meals may not be claimed for reimbursement by the placement school, the home district, or another participating school (even if the home district or another participating school provides the meal), if the meal is served in:
- Schools that are not eligible to participate in the NSLP/SBP, or
- Schools that choose not to participate.
As previously mentioned, the key to whether the meals served to these children may be claimed for reimbursement depends on whether the school at which the meal is served participates in the NSLP/SBP.
FNS Instruction 786-8, Rev. 1, sets forth the situations in which a participating school may claim meals for reimbursement for off-site consumption. These situations are limited to meals served on supervised field trips and work study programs.
If a school district places students in a school which is not participating in the NSLP/SBP, the district may wish to consider expanding the contract to include meal service for its pupil placements. However, such meals are not reimbursable under the NSLP/SBP.
STANLEY C. GARNETT
Child Nutrition Division