Florida National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally funded program that assists schools and other agencies in providing nutritious meals to children at reasonable prices. In addition to financial assistance, the NSLP provides donated commodity foods to help reduce lunch program costs. The United States Department of Agriculture NSLP is responsible for overseeing the program nationally.

The School Breakfast Program (SBP) is a nutritious breakfast is the best way to start a day of learning! The School Breakfast Program is a federally funded program that helps schools provide breakfast to all students. In Florida, each district school board must operate the SBP in all elementary schools. School breakfast programs must be operated at no cost to the students in schools where 80 percent or more of the students enrolled are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

What Is the National School Lunch Program?

The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential childcare institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. The program also incorporates wellness policies and Smart Snacks to promote healthy eating habits and physical activity at school.

National School Lunch Program

When kids incorporate healthy habits into their daily routine at younger ages, they’re more likely to adopt and carry this positive lifestyle into adulthood. Studies show that school lunches are often healthier and less expensive than those brought from home.Across Florida, students can eat school lunch by qualifying at no charge — and lunch is open to all students at a nominal cost. New standards include more fruits and veggies, less sodium and fat, and rich whole grains. 

National School Lunch Program Benefits

The National School Lunch Program:

  • Enhances academic performance and behavior by ensuring that students receive the nutrition they need to stay focused; and
  • Improves students' nutritional intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

School Breakfast Program

Research shows breakfast eaters have better memory, focus and academic success. In Florida, we offer qualifying students nutritious school breakfast at no charge. Breakfast options include protein, fruit, milk and rich whole grains each morning. 

Florida Summer Food Service Program Benefits

Requirements for Sponsors

To become a sponsor of the National School Lunch Program, schools must complete the application process through FDACS. Once approved, schools will be reimbursed by FDACS for each lunch and breakfast meal served, provided they meet established state and federal regulations.

Schools must:

  • Attend a Child Nutrition Program training.
  • Maintain documentation and verification of children's eligibility category and count meals by eligibility category (free, reduced-price and paid meals).
  • Maintain meal production records and inventory records that document the amount and types of food served.
  • Maintain records of on-site accountability reviews.
  • Maintain records of all program income and expenditures.

FDACS will conduct periodic reviews of the school lunch and breakfast programs to ensure that program sponsors meet all requirements.

Florida Food Assistance Program Benefits

Who is eligible for Florida National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program?

To be eligible for this benefit program, you must be a resident of the state of Florida and all of the following:

  • A parent or primary caregiver, and
  • Responsible for a child(ren) who attends school (high school or under).

In order to qualify, you must have an annual household income (before taxes) that is below the following amounts:

Household SizeMaximum Income Level (Per Year)

For households with more than eight people, add $9,509 per additional person. Always check with the appropriate managing agency to ensure the most accurate guidelines.

What is the National School Lunch/Breakfast Program?

  • Offers students the opportunity to receive nutritious meals every school day by providing a per-meal reimbursement to participating public and nonprofit schools and residential child care institutions; and
  • Ensures schools/institutions that are interested in prodiving breakfast can do so through the School Breakfast Program; and
  • Incorporates wellness policies to promote healthy eating habits and physical activity in the school environment. 

How do I apply for Florida National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program?

Schools send school meal applications home at the beginning of each school year. However, you may apply for school meals at any time throughout the school year by submitting a household application directly to your school. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will provide you with an example of an application. Please contact your school to determine if you need to fill out an application. Contact your state's agency to confirm your school participates in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program.

Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

How can I contact someone?

For more information for Florida, please visit the Florida School Lunch Program website. Or visit: USDA’s National School Lunch Program. USDA’s National School Breakfast Program. 800-504-6609.


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