Utah's Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) seek to improve the nutritional well-being of all Utah children so they may reach their full potential. Research shows that children who are well nourished learn and develop much better than those who lack adequate nutrition. The following programs are administered by the Child Nutrition Programs section of the Utah State Office of Education in accordance with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations:

The programs are authorized under the National School Lunch Act of 1946, the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. A combination of federal, state, and local funding supports the Child Nutrition Programs.

The programs offer a cash reimbursement for eligible meals served to children (and some adults) plus additional financial assistance for meals served free or at a reduced price to eligible children. Some programs also provide financial support for administrative expenses. USDA-donated foods often supplement the cash assistance. The CNP staff provides leadership, technical assistance, and practical advice for implementing and administering Child Nutrition Programs at the local level. Program administrators, superintendents, school business officials, principals, food service personnel, and organizations are assisted by staff to ensure effective operations. The staff is also the liaison between the USDA's Mountain Plains Regional Office in Denver and the school districts and other institutions in Utah which participate in the programs.

Organizations that participate in Child Nutrition Programs include:

  • Public and private nonprofit schools recognized by the Utah State Office of Education
  • Public and private nonprofit residential child care institutions
  • Public and private preschool centers that provide nonresidential care to children, outside-school-hours centers that serve primarily school-aged children, and adult centers that provide daily care for senior citizens and disabled persons 18 years of age and older.
  • Family day care homes supervised by a sponsoring nonprofit or government organization
  • Public and private nonprofit service institutions and summer camps

Good record keeping and well-trained personnel are essential elements of an effective program. Qualified sponsors must:

  • Demonstrate financial and administrative capabilities
  • Have adequate personnel to monitor and manage sites
  • Comply with civil rights requirements
  • Send staff members to training sessions conducted by CNP at the Utah State Office of Education
  • Enter into a written agreement with CNP

The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.