National School Lunch Program (NSLP)


The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public, non-profit private schools, and residential child care institutions. It provides payment for nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. Sponsors enter into agreements with USBE Child Nutrition Programs to participate. Our office also distributes State of Utah (liquor tax) funds to public schools for lunches.

Reimbursement is paid to sponsors based on meals served to children at the established free, reduced, and paid rate depending on the eligibility of the student served. NSLP Sponsors receive entitlement dollars based on the number of meals served that can be used to order United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foods as part of the Food Distribution Program (FDP).

National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)


Schools wishing to operate the NSLP must be a public or private nonprofit elementary or secondary school, residential child care institution, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) school, or an educational service agency and become approved as an NSLP sponsor or participate under an existing program sponsor.

To become a sponsor of the NSLP, an Application of Intent to Participate must be submitted to the Child Nutrition Programs office by February 15 prior to the school year you hope to implement the NSLP at your school. The Application of Intent allows you to participate in the training and approval process to become a program sponsor. All training and approval requirements must be completed between February 15 and September 30 to operate the program as a sponsor.

Schools already providing the NSLP do not need to submit an Application of Intent for the following school year as they are already an approved program sponsor or are operating under an approved sponsor.

Application of Intent to Participate

Schools may apply for Provision 1, 2, 3 or Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) status. Provision 1, 2, or 3 options reduce paperwork for the sponsor and households once approved by the state agency. Provision status reduces the normal requirements for annual determinations of eligibility for free and reduced-price school meals and daily meal counts by type (free, reduced-price and paid meals) at the point of service.

CEP allows the nation’s highest poverty schools and districts to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students without the burden of collecting household applications. Instead, schools that adopt CEP are reimbursed using a formula based on the percentage of students participating in other specific means-tested programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). USBE CNP must publicly post potentially eligible sponsors and site annually.    

Notify USBE CNP prior to the start of school if interested in Provision 1, 2, or 3.  The deadline to complete the CEP application process is June 30th.

For help understanding basic qualification requirements or if you need assistance with the application process please contact USBE CNP.


NSLP training for approved sponsor or site staff is available throughout the year. Sponsors are invited to program training throughout the year and have access to UEN CANVAS training courses.  

Contact USBE CNP for all training requests and access to UEN CANVAS courses.

Reimbursement Rates

Reimbursement is based on meals served to children eligible at the established free, reduced, and paid rate. State reimbursement is distributed on a per lunch basis to public schools only.

2018 NSBP Reimbursement Rates

The above lunch rates to not include the 6 cent performance-based cash reimbursement.

The reimbursement rate for Special Milk is $0.2075

The entitlement commodity value is $0.3350 (plus bonus commodities)

*Severe Need Lunch Reimbursement (School Food Authority):

For those programs serving more than 60% free and reduced-price lunches in the second preceding year.

Claims for reimbursement for this program are due to USBE no later than the 4th working day after the participating month. Claims submitted after the 4th working day are considered late. There is a 60-day grace period to submit a late claim.

Claim amendments that result in an upward amendment (additional reimbursement) must be received by the state agency within 90 days after the end of the month being amended. Downward amendments may be submitted anytime.


In coordination with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Child Nutrition Program distributes policy memorandums to provide guidance and clarification on program requirements and regulations..

School Meals Policy

Compliance Reports

USDA requires state agencies to conduct procurement and Administrative Reviews of all NSLP Sponsors.

Administrative Reviews are conducted once in a three-year cycle at each School Food Authority (SFA) operating the National School Breakfast Program and/or the National School Lunch Program. Other Federal programs administered by the SFA are also reviewed which may include the Special Milk Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, Afterschool Snack Program, and Seamless Summer Option.

State Agencies are required to post the most recent results of a School Food Authority’s (SFAs) Administrative Review (AR) Report starting with school year 2016-2017 (7 CFR 210.18(m)) Transparency Requirement; USDA FNS Final Rule: Administrative Reviews in the School Nutrition Programs 81 FR 50170). School Foodservice Authorities are also encouraged to post their review results on their public webpage. The State Agency must provide results to the public upon request.

Overview of Administrative Review Areas

The Administrative Review covers two critical areas and several general program areas. The objective of the review is to determine program compliance, provide technical assistance, address items requiring corrective action, and assess fiscal action (as applicable). Follow-up and high risk SFAs may require additional reviews within the three-year cycle.

Critical areas: Meal Access and Reimbursement (PS1); Certification and Benefit Issuance Process (PS2)

General areas: Resource Management, Civil Rights, SFA On-site Monitoring, Local School Wellness Policy and School Meal Environment, Smart Snacks in School, Professional Standards, Water Availability, Food Safety, Storage, Buy American Provision, Reporting, Recordkeeping, National School Breakfast Program and Summer Food Service Program Outreach

Other Federal Programs: Afterschool Snack Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, Special Milk Program, Seamless Summer Option

Administrative Review (AR) Reports