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School Nutrition Program Reimbursement Rates

Note: Reimbursement rates are for the Fiscal Year 2017 – 2018 (July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018).

National School Lunch Program (NSLP)

NSLP reimbursement rates.
Paid $0.31
Reduced $2.83
Free $3.23

Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that served 60 percent or more free and reduced-price lunches in the second preceding year (FY 2015 – 2016) automatically receive an additional 2 cents per lunch in federal reimbursement.

On October 1, 2012, an additional 6 cents per lunch reimbursement becomes available to school food authorities certified by the State agency to be in compliance with the updated meal pattern requirements.

School Breakfast Program (SBP)

*LEAs that served 40 percent or more of free and reduced-price lunches in the second preceding year (FY 2015 – 2016) automatically receive the Severe Need rates.
Non-Severe NeedSevere Need*
Paid $0.30 $0.30
Reduced $1.45 $1.79
Free $1.75 $2.09

Afterschool Snacks

Paid $0.08
Reduced $0.44
Free $0.88

The reimbursement rate for NSLP snacks is determined either by:

  • Area eligibility, or
  • An individual child’s eligibility

An afterschool program is “area eligible” if it is located in a low-income area (at least 50 percent of the children in the local elementary, middle, or high school are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals). In this instance, all of the snacks are reimbursed at the free rate of reimbursement.

If an afterschool program is not located in a low-income area, it is reimbursed based upon each child’s eligibility for free, reduced-price, or paid school meals.

Special Milk

Sponsoring agencies receive a reimbursement rate of $0.2075 for each half pint of milk served to children in fiscal year 2017-2018.

For pricing programs that serve milk free to eligible children, sponsors are reimbursed the average cost per half pint of milk.

Community Eligibility Option (CEO)

The Community Eligibility Option (CEO), enacted as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, is an innovative universal free meal service option designed to make it easier for low-income children to receive meals in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The CEO is an alternative to collecting, approving and verifying household eligibility applications for free and reduced price eligible students in high poverty local education agencies.

Any school or combination of schools within a county that meets or exceeds 40 percent directly certified students (i.e. children who are certified for free meals without a paper application based on their status in foster care, Head Start, homeless, migrant, or living in households that receive SNAP/Food Stamps or TANF cash assistance) is eligible to participate in the CEO.

Benefits of the Community Eligibility Option include:

  • All students receive all meals at no charge;
  • Paperwork for schools and families is dramatically reduced. Families no longer have to complete applications and schools no longer have to certify individual student eligibility, which also eliminates the verification process;
  • School meal service is streamlined; meal claiming is simplified; and
  • Universal (free) meals make it easier for schools to implement alternative meal services such as “grab and go” and breakfast in the classroom.