About School Nutrition Programs

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The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946.

National School Lunch Program (NSLP) (USDA website)

Contacts: School Nutrition Zone Consultant Directory

The School Breakfast Program (SBP) provides cash assistance to States to operate nonprofit breakfast programs in schools and residential childcare institutions. The program is administered at the Federal level by FNS. State education agencies administer the SBP at the State level, and local school food authorities operate it in schools.

N.C. State Board of Education Resolution to Promote School Breakfast

The North Carolina State Board of Education passed a Resolution to Promote School Breakfast. This resolution recognizes the importance of breakfast and encourages Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to seek multiple and innovative ways of increasing school breakfast participation and consider providing breakfast in the classroom during appropriate educational and instructional activities as one of multiple ways to remove barriers to the school breakfast programs and an additional way of caring for and nurturing public school children in the state.

Innovative School Breakfast Programs

We know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and provides students with the needed fuel for a successful day of learning. On the other hand, getting students to the cafeteria before school starts is a daily challenge for many schools. This resource provides some creative and innovative methods that schools could implement that would provide school breakfast to students every day without losing part of the instructional day as well as increase participation in the School Breakfast Program.

Breakfast Q&As

Breakfast is Brain Fuel Toolkit Breakfast is Brain Fuel is a school breakfast toolkit tailored for North Carolina that offers resources to educate students about the importance and benefits of breakfast, motivate students to eat breakfast, gain support for school breakfast, and encourage students and families to utilize school breakfast. For more information about the toolkit please contact Tracey Bates at: tracey.bates@dpi.nc.gov.


The Afterschool Snack Program (ASSP) is an extension of the United States Department of 

kids eating outside

Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and may be administered by participating School Food Authorities (SFAs).

Under the NSLP, the SFA may administer an afterschool care program which provides children with regularly scheduled activities in an organized, structured, and supervised environment; and includes educational or enrichment activities.  Providing snacks for afterschool programs is a great opportunity to help students practice healthy eating, assist adults in promoting a healthy eating environment, and strengthen the role of FNS as a partner in education as well as health.



Continuing Education


Approved Schools 


Program Guidance 


How to Apply (2023-2024 SY) 


Education & Resources 


Program Financial Management & Claims 


Other Resources 


Begun in 1955, the Special Milk Program is administered at the Federal level by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its Food and Nutrition Service, formerly the Food and Consumer Service. The Special Milk Program (SMP) provides milk to children in schools, childcare institutions, and eligible camps that do not participate in other Federal child nutrition meal service programs. The program reimburses schools for the milk they serve. 

Schools in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs may also participate in the SMP to provide milk to children in half-day pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs where children do not have access to the school meal programs. 

If you would like additional information about reimbursements, program regulations, menu planning, and more for the Special Milk Program, go to:  



Summer Nutrition Programs

How to Find NC Summer Meals


SFSP Continuing Education

R.A.C.E. Live Workshops - Summer 2024

April 18, 2024
R.A.C.E. Live Workshop for School Food Authorities

April 19, 2024
R.A.C.E. Live Workshop for Community Sponsors

The At-Risk Afterschool Meals component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) offers federal funding to Afterschool Programs that serve a meal or snack to children in low-income areas. Reimbursement for At-Risk Afterschool Snacks has been available since the 1990s. However, reimbursement for At-Risk Afterschool Meals was available only in a few states. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (PL 111-296) expanded the availability for At-Risk Afterschool Meals to all states.

At-Risk Afterschool Meal Program (USDA website)

NC DHHS At-Risk Afterschool Meal Program




Continuation of NSLP is a program designed to allow SFAs to continue operating (serving meals) under the National School Lunch Program for students that are required to return to school after the school year has ended (or track out period for year round schools) for academic instruction.  Typically, the required classes/courses are provided to the students for the purpose of passing and promotion to the next grade level or to earn credits to be applied toward high school graduation.  Many districts are now using the term "required remediation" to describe situations where students are required to attend for refresher purposes and then re-take the EOC tests with the goal that they will pass and be promoted. 

NOTE:  In any case, the key term is “required”. SFAs may request to operate the Continuation of the NSLP program only if required academic instruction is provided. 


Jacquelyn McGowan 
Compliance Specialist 

How to Apply: 

Complete and submit the Request for Continuation of the National School Lunch Program with original signatures via US mail at least two weeks prior to the date the program continuation is scheduled to begin. 

Mail the form to: 
School Nutrition Services 
Attn:  Jacquelyn McGowan 
324 Mail Service Center 
Raleigh, NC  27699-6324