This final rule also adds a method that allows schools to use “any reasonable approach” to plan menus.
The National School Lunch Program operates in over 94,000 schools and institutions. More than 26 million children receive meals through the program on any given day; about half of these meals are provided free of charge. The School Breakfast Program operates in approximately two-thirds of the schools and institutions that offer the NSLP, most commonly in schools that serve large numbers of economically disadvantaged children.
The National School Lunch Act requires that schools that are participating in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs claim reimbursements only for lunches or breakfasts which meet the nutrition standards of the National School Lunch Act, including compliance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Data was collected from directors of 34 school food authorities participating in the Nutrient Standard Menu Planning demonstration during fall 1995 and winter 1996. This information was used to assess the implementation status of these sites and examine perceived strengths and weaknesses of the system.