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National School Lunch Program

What's New

School Year 2015 - 2016 Free and Reduced-price Policy

Smart Snacks Information and Files

Approved Equipment Purchase list

New Recipes are available in the Sharing Library

School Lunch Marketing Videos from the Iowa Dept of Education

Since 1946, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) has made it possible for schools throughout the nation to serve wholesome lunches to children to help meet their nutritional needs. These lunches make a vital contribution to children's mental and physical development.

School lunch programs help students by: 

  • Making healthy eating choices available. In recent years, recipes have been modified to reduce the fat, salt, and sugar content of school lunches. Items purchased are reviewed and, where possible, selected to improve the nutritional quality of the meals.
  • Reinforcing classroom instruction by using the meals and dining areas as learning laboratories. Students now have more menu choices, including entrées, vegetables, fruits, and alternatives such as salad, potato, and pasta bars.
  • Promoting nutrition as part of a comprehensive healthy lifestyle. By increasing awareness of the federal "Dietary Guidelines for Americans," the program promotes health and helps reduce the risk of chronic disease.

All lunches must meet the nutritional requirements outlined in the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans," published jointly by the USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and must provide one-third of the children's nutritional requirements for the day. The NSLP is designed to reach all schoolchildren in the United States . Free and reduced price lunches are available for children who meet certain simple criteria. Local schools have information about eligibility and applications to receive these benefits.


Files and Links

Click here for presentations and handouts from Conferences and Meetings held by the Child Nutrition Programs

National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs Manual and Quick Reference

School Year 2014-2015 Child Nutrition Calendar

Eligibility Manual For School Meals (Updated July 2015)

Site Monitoring Form

Meal Counting and Claiming Manual

New Meal Pattern Production Record (one grade group per page)

New Meal Pattern Production Record (3 grade groups per page)

New Meal Pattern TRANSPORT Record

Exception to the Meal Pattern Form

Getting Started with the NSLP Guide

NSLP Policy Bulletins

Paid Lunch Prices 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015(Utah Only) 2015-2016(Utah Only)

2016-2017 (Utah Only)

USDA - National School Lunch Program

USDA - School Meals Guidance & Resources