What is the National School Lunch Program? The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is the oldest and largest of the child nutrition programs operated by the Food and Consumer Service (FCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Since 1946, the NSLP has made it possible for schools to serve nutritious lunches to students each school day. States receive federal reimbursement and other assistance in establishing, maintaining, and operating the program.
Why Serve Lunch at School?Hungry children cannot learn. They are lethargic, irritable and have shorter attention spans. Many students would get no meal, or at best a nutritionally poor one, if they had to bring their own lunches. A good school lunch is not only essential to academic achievement, it is also part of a good education. Nutrition habits and food preferences learned now will be with your students for life.
Who Can Participate? Any Public School District, Charter School, Residential Child Care Institution, Tax Exempt Non-Public School may apply to sponsor the NSL Program.What are Commodities?
- Commodities are government entitlement foods made available to organizations that participate in School and Community Nutrition Programs. These foods are offered to sponsoring organizations at a fraction of their market value.
- Cash in Lieu of Commodities - Participating organizations may choose to receive cash instead of the actual commodities. A federal formula is used to determine the amount of commodity entitlement; similarly a formula is used to determine the valve is incorporated into the reimbursement rate and received on a monthly basis.
- Bonus Commodities - In addition to the entitlement commodities, the school lunch program may also receive “bonus commodities”. This bonus program allows the Secretary of Agriculture to donate surplus or price-support commodities, which may not be assessed against the state’s mandatory allocation. The amount of commodities distributed under the bonus program varies from year to year, as do the specific types of commodities that are provided.
Meal Pattern Requirements:To qualify for federal reimbursement, schools must serve lunches which meet meal pattern requirements specified by the Secretary of Agriculture.
For More Information:Call or write to the Delaware Department of Education, School and Community Nutrition Programs, 401 Federal Street, Suite 2, Dover, DE 19901; 302-735-4060.