Each school year the Department programs agricultural commodities and other foods to states for delivery to program and commodity schools, nonresidential child care institutions, and service institutions pursuant to the regulations governing the donation of foods for use in the United States, its territories and possessions and areas under its jurisdiction (7 CFR part 250).
The purpose of these regulations is to implement section 19 of the Child Nutrition Act (added by PL 95-166, effective Nov. 10, 1977) which authorizes the Secretary to formulate and carry out a nutrition information and education program through a system of grants to State agencies to provide for (a) the nutritional training of educational and foodservice personnel, (b) the foodservice management training of school foodservice personnel, and (c) the conduct of nutrition education activities in schools and child care institutions.
This part established the responsibilities of state agencies, FNS regional offices, school food authorities or local educational agencies, as applicable in providing free and reduced price meals and free milk in the NSLP, the SBP, the SMP for children, and commodity schools.
This part established the responsibilities of state agencies, Food and Nutrition Service regional offices, school food authorities or local educational agencies, as defined in §245.2, as applicable in providing free and reduced price meals and free milk in the National School Lunch Program (7 CFR part 210), the School Breakfast Program (7 CFR part 220), the Special Milk Program (SMP) for Children (7 CFR part 215), and commodity schools. Section 9 of the National School Lunch Act, as amended, and sections 3 and 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended, require schools participating in any of the programs and commodity schools to make available, as applicable, free and reduced price lunches, breakfasts, and at the option of the School Food Authority for schools participating only in the Special Milk Program (SMP) free milk to eligible children.
The National School Lunch Act states: “It is declared to be the policy of Congress, as a measure of national security, to safeguard the health and well-being of the nation's children and to encourage the domestic consumption of nutritious agricultural commodities and other food, by assisting the states, through grants-in-aid and other means, in providing an adequate supply of food and other facilities for the establishment, maintenance, operation, and expansion of nonprofit school lunch programs.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published a proposed rule on Feb. 8, 2013 to obtain public comment with regard to nutrition standards for all foods sold in school as required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). Through June 5, 2013, FNS had received a total of 247,871 public comments on the rule (hereinafter referred to as the All Foods proposed rule, All Foods NPRM, proposed competitive food requirements, or proposed competitive food standards) in docket FNS-2011-0019.
Implementation Timeline for Final Rule. "Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs”
School Meals Patterns with Flexibilities for SY 2018/2019 (per Interim Final Rule 82 FR 56703, Nov. 30, 2017)
PL 108-265 Amendments to the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch