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School Meals


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National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program 

Federally funded programs that provide meal reimbursement to public and nonpublic schools and Residential Child Care Institutions. These Programs provide nutritionally balanced, low-cost or no-cost lunches and breakfasts to children each school day. The funds provided for these Programs are from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and are administered in Iowa through the Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services in the Department of Education.

National School Lunch Program
School Breakfast Program 

Iowa School Nutrition Fact Sheet - provides an overview of School Nutrition Programs in Iowa including the benefits, how to build a reimbursable lunch, participation data, and reimbursement information.

Assigned Consultants - Consultant assignments for Child Nutrition Programs in schools:

Student Meal Debt - In 2018, the Iowa Legislature passed and the Governor signed into legislation HF2467 addressing student meal debt. The following documents provide guidance and answers pertaining to the legislation:

  • HF2467 Student Lunch Debt Guidance
  • HF2467 Q & A (Revised 2018)
  • Meal Charge Policy School Food Authorities are required to have a policy implemented by July 1, 2017 which describes how students without funds in an account and no cash to purchase a meal will be impacted.This document provides a multitude of suggestions and important points to consider in developing a policy.

Providing Meals During SY2020-21

As published in the October 9, 2020 USDA Nationwide Waivers, School Food Authorities (SFAs) may choose to provide meal service under the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) through June 30, 2021 or continue the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). The following resources were sent via email to School Nutrition Directors and Authorized Representatives on September 4, 2020 to assist in making their determination.

Program Integrity 

To promote and maintain the accountability and integrity of the USDA Child Nutrition Programs, organizations are required to implement procedures to ensure that meals are responsibly distributed to parents/guardians of eligible students, and that duplicate meals are not distributed. When providing non-congregate meals that are picked up by parents, it is important for parents to be informed to not take a meal or snack for consumption at home if that same meal or snack is consumed at school. 

Integrity Sign- sample sign that may be posted at meal distribution sites and provided to families. 

Please connect with the School Nutrition Consultant in your region for additional information. 

School Nutrition COVID-19 Food Safety Resource

The Iowa Department of Education Bureau of Nutrition & Health Services and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals collaborated on development of this resource to assist school nutrition programs. 

USDA Waiver Requests - Public Notification

The Iowa Department of Education Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services is seeking the following waivers from the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.

Submitted USDA Waiver Requests

Submitted and Approved USDA Waiver Requests

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 19, 2021 at 5:43pm.