Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
School Meals Initiative Implementation Study: First Year Report

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) are central parts of a national policy designed to safeguard the nutritional well-being of the Nation’s children. The programs are administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), operating through State agencies (SAs) that have agreements with the local school systems in their States. Despite the progress that has been achieved over the years in enhancing the quality of school meals, results of research conducted in the early 1990s indicated that school meals, on balance, were not meeting certain key nutritional goals. In late 1993, the USDA launched a far-reaching reform of the school meals programs, a reform aimed at upgrading the nutritional content of school meals. The several elements of this reform are collectively referred to as the School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children (SMI), the principal subject of this report.

Resource | Proposed Rule
Proposed Rule: Reimbursement of Afterschool Snacks in the Regulations Governing the NSLP and CACFP

Under this proposed rule, certain afterschool care programs would earn reimbursement for snacks served which meet program requirements.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Study of Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program

The NSLP offers free and reduced-price school meals to students from eligible households. Households with incomes at or below 130 percent of poverty are eligible for free meals, and households with incomes between 131 percent and 185 percent of poverty are eligible for reduced-price meals. Traditionally, to receive these benefits, households had to complete and submit application forms to schools or be directly certified. Direct certification, on the other hand, is a method of eligibility determination that does not require families to complete school meal applications. Instead, school officials use documentation from the local or state welfare agency that indicates that a household participates in AFDC or food stamps as the basis for certifying students for free school meals.

Resource | Proposed Rule
Proposed Rule: Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools: Disclosure of Children's Eligibility Information

This proposed rule would amend the regulations for the Special Milk Program for Children, Summer Food Service Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Determination of Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools relating to the confidentiality of information about individuals who receive free and reduced price meals and free milk.

Resource | Interim Final Rule
Interim Final Rule: NSLP and SBP Identification of Blended Beef, Pork, Poultry or Seafood Products

This interim rule addresses the use of products or dishes containing more than 30 parts fully hydrated vegetable protein products to less than 70 parts beef, pork, poultry or seafood in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.

Resource | Final Rule
Final Rule: National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program Additional Menu Planning Approaches

This final rule also adds a method that allows schools to use “any reasonable approach” to plan menus.

Resource | Final Rule
Final Rule: Modification of the "Vegetable Protein Products'' Requirements for Child Nutrition Programs

This final rule updates the requirements for using ‘‘Vegetable Protein Products’’ in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program (the Child Nutrition programs). 

Resource | Proposed Rule
Proposed Rule: NSLP and SBP Alternatives to Standard Application and Meal Counting Procedures

This proposed rule would amend the regulations governing the procedures for determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
School Food Purchase Study: Final Report

This study provides national estimates of the food acquisitions of public unified school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). It describes the type, quantity, and value of foods purchased by public school districts and the relative importance of foods donated to these school districts by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The study also examines procurement practices and operating characteristics of these school districts and the relationship of these characteristics to food costs. Data were collected form a nationally representative sample of 324 unified public school districts during School Year 1996/97. Findings are compared to the results of a similar study conducted in SY 1984/85.

Resource | Research | Demonstrations
Evaluation of the Nutrient Standard Menu Planning Demonstration

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) are administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The NSLP 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 SBP 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. On an average day, roughly seven million children receive breakfast through the SBP. The vast majority of these meals are provided free of charge. School Food Authorities (SFAs) participating in the NSLP and SBP receive two types of federal assistance: donated surplus commodities and cash reimbursements.