Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

National School Lunch Program

Laws and Regulations

Code of Federal Regulations
Title 7, Parts: 210220

What Is the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)?

  • Allows students attending participating public and nonprofit schools and residential child care institutions in Florida the opportunity to receive nutritious meals every school day by providing a per meal reimbursement to the school/institution;
  • Incorporates wellness policies to promote healthy eating habits and physical activity in the school environment.

What Role Does the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Play?

  • Administers the NSLP at the state level by establishing agreements with schools that meet USDA requirements;
  • Provides guidance, training, outreach and technical support to schools operating the NSLP;
  • Provides reimbursement to schools/institutions meeting the federal and state standards; and
  • Ensures compliance with regulatory guidelines.

How Does This Benefit Schools, Programs and Communities?

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

Florida Statute on School Food Service


Schools must apply through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and complete the requirements prior to the operation of these programs. Once approved, schools will be reimbursed by FDACS for each lunch and breakfast meal served provided they meet established state and federal regulations.

  • Complete the application process.    
  • 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 comply with state and federal regulations.

For more information on the application process, please see:

 " 2009-17 TAN Process for Submitting Application Agreement, Policy in the NSLP [ Adobe PDF Document 51.59 KB ]" under Technical Assistance Notes 2008-2009.

School Meals Administrative Review (SMAR) Summary

The Administrative Review is a comprehensive evaluation of school meals programs in school food authorities participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 established this new accountability system to ensure that participating schools comply with the school meals programs requirements. A SMAR is required every three years for all schools participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Only reviews conducted during the current school year are included in the SMAR Summaries.

SMAR Summaries [ Compressed File 647.93 KB ]