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.
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.