Secondary menu

Accommodating Disabilities in the School Meal Programs: Guidance and Q&As

Last Published: 05/01/2017

The School Meal Programs aim to provide all participating children with the nutritious meals they need to be healthy. In order to operate the Programs, school food authorities (SFAs) must ensure children with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate. This includes providing special meals, at no extra charge, to children with a disability that restricts their diet.

This Question and Answer memorandum is designed to provide practical guidance related to accommodating disabilities in the School Meal Programs, which are the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), the Special Milk Program (SMP), and the NSLP Afterschool Snacks Program. These examples illustrate certain principles and give general direction on what local educational agencies (LEAs), SFAs, and schools must do to comply with Federal law and ensure children with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in the School Meal Programs.

Document #: 
SP26-2017